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Fulton Chief Judge Wright to Retire; Hopefuls in Wings

, Daily Report

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Chief Judge Cynthia Wright
Chief Judge Cynthia Wright

Fulton County Superior Court Chief Judge Cynthia Wright is preparing to step down this year, and two hopefuls have already registered their intent to seek the open seat.

In November, Fulton County magistrate and Family Division judicial officer Jane Barwick filed candidacy papers. Barwick, a former corporate counsel for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity who earned her law degree from the University of Georgia in 1979, reported having raised $11,750 for her campaign earlier this month. The Daily Report was unable to reach Barwick Wednesday.

Shelitha Robertson, who lost a runoff election to now-Superior Court Judge Kelly Lee in 2010, filed her notice of intent to run last week. A former Atlanta police officer, Robertson graduated from Atlanta Law School in 1996 and worked as an assistant public defender and attorney with the city of Atlanta. She is now in private practice.

"I decided I was going to run back in 2010, after I lost the last election," said Robertson, who also ran for Atlanta City Council in 2009. "I've been committed to public service for quite some time."

Wright said she had long been contemplating retirement. "I decided when I last ran that that would be my last time," she said. "I believe change is good for individuals and for institutions, and it's time for a change."

Wright said she planned to "keep a footprint in Atlanta working with legal community here; I'm also going to move to another country part-time, learn the culture, learn the language, and help the people there."

Wright declined to say where she planned to relocate. She also declined to say whether she would stay until her term expires at year's end or retire before then, which would allow Gov. Nathan Deal to pick a successor.

"I'm not qualifying to run, and I'm not committing to finish out my term," Wright said.

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