Out lesbian and Fulton County magistrate Jane Barwick beat Shelitha Robertson in the race to succeed the retiring Fulton County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Wright, also an out lesbian. Barwick won with 63 percent to Robertson’s 37 percent.
Superior court judges mainly preside over civil complaints, real estate disputes and felony cases, but also especially of note for the LGBT community, second parent adoptions.
“We didn’t leave anything on the table,” Barwick told the GA Voice at an election night party at Gordon Biersch before the results had come in. “We went up until the very, very end trying just as hard as we could and didn’t take anything for granted.”
According to a disclosure filed July 17, Barwick had the backing of a large group of gay donors, including Harry Harkins, Cathy Woolard, Randy New, Colin Wright, Teresa Joyce, Charlie Frew, Glen Paul Freedman, Kathleen Womack, Ken Britt, Friends of Alex Wan and the outgoing judge, Cynthia D. Wright. Robertson had no noticeable gay names on her donor list.
Barwick worked in private practice for two local law firms before branching out in 1995 and starting her own firm concentrating on family law. After six years at the helm, she closed her practice to attend Columbia Theological Seminary where she earned her Master of Divinity degree. She worked as in-house counsel for Atlanta Habitat for Humanity before becoming a magistrate in the Fulton County Family Division in 2012.
Robertson served as an officer with the Atlanta Police Department for 10 years and after completing law school, served as an assistant public defender for the City of Atlanta before moving on to become an assistant city attorney for the city. Robertson ran unsuccessfully for Fulton Superior Court Judge in 2010 and also for Atlanta City Council in 2009.
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