MARIETTA — Attorney Nathan Wade, who is attempting to unseat Cobb Superior Court Judge Reuben Green in the July 31 election, believes it is wrong that Green is listed as the incumbent on the ballot.
Green was appointed to the bench, not elected, Wade pointed out during a candidate forum held by the Cobb Republican Women’s Club on Tuesday.
Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed Green to the Cobb Superior Court in 2010.
“This seat was held by long-time Judge Kenneth Nix,” Wade said. “Upon his retirement, there was an appointment that was made … without there being any interviews or without there being the opportunity for any qualified candidates to I guess submit a resume and interview for the position. I would have loved to have stacked my resume against the individual who got the appointment.”
Wade went on to say that he will be listed near the end on the ballot.
“I will not have the ‘incumbent’ next to my name,” Wade said. “‘Incumbent,’ I believe, should be reserved for those individuals who have been elected. I don’t think there really is an incumbent in this race. Neither of us have been elected. So please, ignore the incumbent mark.”
Green did not respond to Wade’s comments when he was given the floor.
Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University who specializes in elections, said the ‘incumbent’ note is powerful.
“When voters see the ‘i’ next to the judge’s name, that’s usually who they vote for because they don’t know any better,” Swint said. “The average voter doesn’t know what kinds of decisions the judge has made or really much about their reputation unless they happen to be in the court or a lawyer, that kind of thing, so it’s an uphill battle to any challenger.”