September 14, 2018 3:13 PM
Justice Charlie Bethel of Georgia’s Court of Appeals has been named to fill the remaining vacancy on Georgia’s Supreme Court. Prior to his appointment to the Court of Appeals, Bethel served as a State Senator for the Dalton area. He takes the seat of former Chief Justice Harris Hines, who retired at the end of last month.
Governor Deal has also appointed current House Majority Whip Christian Coomer to fill the vacancy created by Bethel. This will require a special election to fill Coomer’s House Seat (Likely to be called simultaneously with the November 6th election). Coomer is currently the only candidate for House District 14.
Coomer’s selection will also start an immediate contest for the open leadership position in the Republican caucus. Caucus elections for all officers will be held shortly after the November 6th elections. Coomer’s is the only current position likely to be vacant. Coomer had been quickly rising in the House ranks, having previously served as House Transportation Chair before being elected Majority Whip.
The full press release on the judicial appointments is as follows:
Gov. Nathan Deal today announced the appointment of the Honorable Charlie Bethel as a justice of the Supreme Court of Georgia. Bethel will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice P. Harris Hines. Deal also announced the appointment of the Honorable Christian A. Coomer to the Court of Appeals of Georgia to fill the vacancy created by Bethel’s appointment.
The appointments will take effect upon swearing in.
Charlie Bethel, Supreme Court of Georgia
Bethel currently serves as a Judge on the Court of Appeals of Georgia. He previously represented the 54th district in the Georgia State Senate and served as an alderman for the City of Dalton. Bethel has experience in dispute resolution, as the director of corporate affairs for J&J Industries and as a legal clerk for Judge Charles A. Pannell Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. He is a graduate of Leadership Georgia and was named to Georgia Trend’s “100 Most Influential Georgians” list three times. Bethel earned a bachelor’s degree in Management, cum laude, from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia and a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. He and his wife, Lynsey, have three children and reside in Dalton.
Rep. Christian A. Coomer, Court of Appeals of Georgia
Coomer represents the 14th district in the Georgia House of Representatives, where he currently serves as the majority whip. He is a solo practitioner with Christian A. Coomer, Attorney at Law, LLC. Coomer is also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and serves as a part-time Air Force Judge Advocate currently assigned to the Joint Force Headquarters of the Georgia National Guard. He was appointed to the Court Reform Council by Deal and was named the Georgia Chamber of Commerce’s Legislator of the Year in 2017. Coomer received numerous awards for his military service including the U.S. Air Force Meritorious Service Medal. He is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College at Air University and the Georgia Legislative Leadership Institute. Coomer is a member of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce and the Georgia Veterans Association. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Lee University and a law degree from the University of Georgia School of Law. Coomer and his wife, Heidi, have three children and reside in Cartersville.