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COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp will have an opportunity to appoint a new superior court judge for a six-county circuit based in Columbus.

Superior Court Judge William Rumer, who is based in Muscogee County, told Kemp in a letter this month that he will retire at the end of August, news outlets reported.

"While I have been blessed to have a job that I love in a wonderful community, my wife and I would like to enjoy the fruits of our labor," he wrote, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

The Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit covers Chattahoochee, Harris, Marion, Muscogee, Talbot and Taylor counties.

Rumer asked Kemp to appoint him as a senior judge to preside in cases where other judges have a conflict of interest or are unavailable because of illness or other emergencies, the newspaper reported. Senior judges may serve in any judicial circuit.

Gov. Sonny Perdue appointed Rumer to the bench in 2010. Rumer told WRBL-TV he has missed the courtroom during the COVID-19 pandemic, when in-person hearings were halted. He said he wants to spend time traveling with his wife and being with his children and grandchildren.

"My daddy died at 72. My big brother died at 72. And I am 71," he said. "So life began to focus."

Stacey Jackson, a criminal defense attorney and Republican from Harris County, has said he wants to be considered for the position. Ben Richardson, who has been a state court judge since 2014, said he also will seek the position, according to the Ledger-Enquirer.

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