Robert Stokely Accepts Coweta County Magistrate Position; To Vacate House Seat

December 15, 2012 10:11 am

by Charlie · 6 comments

Robert Stokely, Coweta County’s solicitor who was elected in November to Georgia’s House of Representatives, has instead decided to become a Coweta County Magistrate Judge.  In accepting the position, Stokely has vacated the position in the Georgia House which he would have begun next month.  The Governor will now need to call for a special election which must occur between 30 and 60 days from that call.

The following is a press release sent by Stokely to explain his move:

When I decided to run for State Representative it was in good faith and with the intention of serving the citizens of District 71 to the best of my ability. In the last few weeks an opportunity to serve the citizens of Coweta County in a non-elected full-time position presented itself.   After several weeks of careful consideration I have determined that it is in the best interest of my family to accept an appointment as a full-time Magistrate Judge serving the citizens of Coweta County starting January 1, 2013. This position allows me to serve under the Honorable James C. Stripling, Chief Magistrate of Coweta County, a public servant and elected official whom I greatly respect.  In addition I will have the opportunity to work with a very competent and hardworking staff in the Magistrate’s Office.

Today, December 14, 2012, I notified Governor Deal, Secretary of State Kemp and Speaker of the Georgia House Ralston that I have accepted and been appointed to be Magistrate Court Judge in Coweta County.  Thus, by taking this appointment it is necessary that I withdraw from taking the seat as the District 71 State House Representative on January 14, 2013.    According to Official Code of Georgia Annotated 21-2-544(4), a special election will be called.  
I appreciate the support I was given in my run for District 71 State House and having that opportunity to serve in that distinguished body and represent the citizens of District 71 in Atlanta.  However, I am very excited to have the opportunity to serve the citizens full-time locally in the Magistrate Court in the Coweta County Courthouse.
Representative Lynn Smith District 70 and Representative Matt Ramsey District 72 have graciously agreed to cover constituent needs and be a point of contact for the citizens of District 71 during the interim time while the District 71 Representative is being selected. To obtain or confirm latest contact information please visit the link to their contact page or call them at the listed numbers below:
Phone:   404.656.7149
Phone:   404.656.7146
I appreciate the support I have been given during my public service career and I look forward to the opportunity to continue serving the citizens of Coweta County. 
Robert Stokely
The following is a copy of the letter sent to Governor Deal and others to inform them of his decision:
Honorable Nathan Deal                                               Honorable Brian Kemp

Governor, State of Georgia                                         Secretary of State
111 State Capitol                                                         214 State Capitol

Atlanta GA 30334                                                       Atlanta GA 30334
Honorable David Ralston
Speaker of the Georgia House                                   December, 14, 2012
332 State Capitol
Atlanta GA 30334
                Effective this date, acknowledging O.C.G.A. 21-2-544(4) and O.C.G.A. 21-2-504(a), I am withdrawing from the seat as District 71 Elect State House Representative.  This decision is made after careful thought and prayer.  Recently, Coweta County Magistrate Court Judge Joseph Wyant was appointed to serve as Juvenile Court Judge for Coweta County and that opened an opportunity for me to be appointed to a four year term full-time to replace him.   Today I received confirmation by filed Order of Chief Magistrate James C. Stripling and the six sitting Superior Court Judges of the Coweta Judicial Circuit appointing me to a term beginning January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2016.  This opportunity is in the best interest of my family and I hope each of you and the citizens can understand that I need to do what is best for my family in taking this opportunity.
                I have had enough of a glimpse of being a House member to know that I will miss out on a great opportunity to serve with many dedicated public servants in such an esteemed setting as the State Capitol.   I am honored to have had the opportunity to cast votes on the House floor at our recent caucus to elect Speaker Ralston, Speaker Pro Tem Jones and other leaders in the majority caucus       .  While I give up the opportunity to make new friends and serve with such a distinguished group, I get the opportunity to work with Chief Magistrate Court Judge James C. Stripling and his dedicated staff as they (and I) will serve the citizens of Coweta County in a court that is as close to the everyday citizen as it gets.
                I am most appreciative of the support and votes given me during my campaign.  A candidate starts out with one vote and when they win, they do so because of the support of others.  In my case, the Friends of Robert Stokely came out and won the race for me.  I shall never forget the Honor and Privilege that came with such support.
Sincerely,
Robert Stokely
johnl December 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Translation: I needed a job that pays a real salary.

SallyForth December 15, 2012 at 5:40 pm

OMG, not another one of these crawfish legislators! Now he is going to cost us taxpayers a couple of hundred thousand dollars to hold a special election and fill this seat. After we elect a person, we don’t get to dump them until they serve that 2-year term (no matter how bad we’d like to). This is a 2-way contract, and they shouldn’t get to just walk away like this.

Both state political parties NEED to add a sentence to their qualifying document stating that the person swears to serve the term if elected, or must pay the total cost of holding a special election if they don’t. The only way they could be relieved of that would be physical incapacitation or death.

Harry December 15, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Yes, and John “Swiftboat” Kerry should also follow this rule.

Mcmuffin March 3, 2013 at 6:41 pm

He is not the first of the Coweta political cronies to do this. The first was Mitch Seabaugh—district 28 that includes Coweta County. Mitch Seabaugh took a state job leaving district 28 without a senator–Stockly was friends with Seabaugh—and he is friends with the new Senator-Mike Crane who won in the special election–and he is friends with David Stover running for his vacated post—-it is a never ending group of cronies costing tax payers money for their job advancement.

georgiaconservative33 March 4, 2013 at 1:02 am

Seriously, people. These postings are months old. PLEASE move on. Please.

Lawton Sack (GATA Eagles!) March 4, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Amen.

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