Gov. Nathan Deal has named state Rep. Regina Quick (R-Athens) to the bench, announcing her appointment as a judge on the Western Circuit Superior Court this morning.
Quick will replace David Sweat, who retired as chief judge July 31. The other superior court judges—Eric Norris and Lawton Stephens—selected Judge Patrick Haggard as the new chief judge.
Besides representing District 117 in the state House, Quick is a solo practitioner, mainly in the area of family law. Superior court judges hear divorce and child custody cases, in addition to other civil lawsuits and felony criminal cases.
Other finalists included Western Circuit Chief Assistant District Attorney Brian Patterson and Oconee County Magistrate Judge Richard Connelly Jr.
The Western Circuit includes Clarke and Oconee counties.
Quick's appointment is effective "upon swearing in," according to a news release from Deal's office. It's unknown when she will be sworn in.
She will have to resign her House seat, which will trigger a special election. The next scheduled date for a special election is Nov. 7.
Quick has already said she would not run for re-election in 2018, and announced candidates for her seat include Democrat Deborah Gonzalez and Republicans Doug McKillip and Houston Gaines. McKillip held the seat until 2012, when Quick defeated him.