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Athens Will Be Able to Elect a New DA After All

A federal judge has ordered Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to reinstate a Nov. 3 election for Western Circuit district attorney that Gov. Brian Kemp scuttled in May.

Former state Rep. Deborah Gonzalez filed the lawsuit in May, after Kemp missed a deadline to appoint a replacement for former District Attorney Ken Mauldin, who resigned in February.

Because Kemp did not make an appointment at least six months before the election, under state law the election was pushed back to 2022. But U.S. District Court Judge Mark Cohen ruled Thursday that the law doesn’t apply to district attorney races and violates the Georgia Constitution. He granted a preliminary injunction instructing Raffensperger to oversee the election.

Gonzalez plans to run, as does Brian Patterson, the interim DA and Mauldin’s former chief assistant. A qualifying date has not been set.

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