Scott McAfee, judge presiding over Trump election case, wins election to keep his seat

Fulton County Superior Judge Scott McAfee (FOX 5)

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Scott McAfee, the judge presiding over the Georgia election interference case against former President Donald Trump, has won an election to keep his seat. 

McAfee beat civil rights attorney and media commentator Robert Patillo in a nonpartisan election. McAfee has been a judge for just over a year, since Republican Gov. Brian Kemp appointed him to fill an empty seat. He will now serve a full four-year term beginning in January. 

McAfee has become one of the most high-profile judges in Georgia since he was randomly assigned last year to preside over the election interference case. With the added advantages of incumbency, strong bipartisan backing from heavy hitters and an impressive fundraising haul, he was the likely favorite to win. 

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In just over a year on the bench, the election case has made McAfee one of the more recognizable judges in Georgia. He previously worked as both a federal and a state prosecutor and as state inspector general. He was appointed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp to fill an empty seat and has been vigorously campaigning in recent weeks to win a full four-year term. His campaign has drawn support from a bipartisan slate of heavy hitters, including Kemp and former Gov. Roy Barnes, a Democrat. 

Robert Patillo, a civil rights attorney and media commentator, has stressed "competency, compassion and change" in his campaign to replace McAfee. He has shied away from directly attacking McAfee, but has stressed the importance of a varied background and said the "prosecutor-to-judge pipeline" can lead to biases. 


Tiffani Johnson, who has worked as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, had also filed paperwork to challenge McAfee. But she was disqualified after she failed to show up for a hearing on a challenge to her eligibility. After a  judge upheld that disqualification , she asked the state Supreme Court to weigh in, but the high court has yet to act. 

McAfee won a nonpartisan contest, which means he will serve a full four-year term beginning in January.