McBride appears to be Superior Court judge winner

It appears that Columbus attorney Gil McBride is the newest Superior Court judge in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit.

With 96 precincts reporting across the six-county circuit, McBride took 44,125 votes, or 51.7 percent. Attorney Alonza Whitaker took 41,202 votes, or 48.3 percent, according to the Secretary of State's Web site.

Five of the six judgeships in the circuit were up for grabs Tuesday. Out of those five, only the seat currently held by Chief Superior Court Judge Kenneth Followill was contested. Followill announced months ago he wouldn't seek re-election.

McBride, 46, said he wanted the job because he feels strongly that someone with a strong civil and domestic background is needed on the bench. Currently a private attorney who practices civil litigation, McBride said most of the circuit's cases last year were civil or domestic in nature.

McBride has been practicing law in Columbus for 17 years. He grew up in Columbus, then earned his bachelor's and master's from George Washington University. He earned his law degree from Mercer University.

Whitaker, 53, said he ran for the judgeship because he wants to serve the community and the circuit. He was an assistant district attorney for 11 years and as a Columbus Recorder's Court and Environmental Court judge. He's currently in private practice and the pastor of Rose Hill Memorial Baptist Church.

Whitaker said he was the only candidate with experience as a prosecutor, a defense attorney and on the bench.