Kemp appointee Andrew Pinson wins Georgia Supreme Court 2024 election, AP projects

Gov. Kemp's appointee, Incumbent Andrew Pinson, is projected to defeat his challenger, John Barrow, according to the Associated Press.

Despite their political leanings, both candidates ran without party labels in this election.

Who are the Georgia Supreme Court candidates?

Just a day before the election, the governor held a press conference to reassert his support for Justice Pinson, who he appointed to replace former Justice David E. Nahmias in 2022. Eight of the nine current Georgia supreme court justices have been appointed by Republican governors.

They were hoping to take home a six-year term, and succeeded.

Barrow is a former Democratic congressman who has been vocal about his pro-choice stance on abortion. He and the incumbent have clashed on it. Justice Pinson said it was inappropriate for Barrow to make the race partisan by talking about such issues.

Barrow unsuccessfully sued in federal court for his right to keep speaking about abortion, saying a state judicial agency was violating his free-speech rights when the agency warned Barrow his discussion of abortion might be violating judicial ethics.

U.S. District Judge Michael Brown ruled John Barrow didn’t have standing to sue because Barrow himself chose to release a confidential letter from the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission and because his continued public statements showed his speech wasn’t being restricted.

What's next for the Georgia Supreme Court justice?

May 21's primary election was the general election for judicial candidates. The winner will not have to run again in November.

Other State Justices Michael Boggs, John Ellington and Nels Peterson ran unopposed. Six judges on the Georgia Court of Appeals were also unopposed, while Jeff Davis and Tabitha Ponder contended for an open seat on the court.

RELATED NEWS: Judicial races Georgia 2024 primary election results

Associated Press writer Jeff Amy contributed to this report.