Cobb County’s chief magistrate court judge has been named to serve as district attorney for the county — the first black woman to serve as DA for Cobb.
Gov. Brian Kemp on Wednesday announced he was appointing Joyette Holmes as the DA. Holmes, who has been Cobb’s chief magistrate court judge for the past 4 years, will finish the remainder of the term for former DA Vic Reynolds, who was appointed by Kemp to serve as the director of the GBI. Reynolds’ term expires in December 2020.
Holmes told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that she was one of several “talented” attorneys around Cobb County who applied for the position.
“In applying for it, I was certainly prayerful that I would be selected,” she said.
Kemp, who made the announcement during a press conference, said Holmes has been devoted to her community, church and family.
“She is certainly one of our best and brightest in Georgia,” he said in a brief press conference. “As DA, I know that Judge Holmes will work around the clock to keep our families safe as well as our businesses.”
Jesse Evans, Cobb’s Chief Assistant DA and the head of the office’s Major Cases Unit, said he’s known Holmes “as a friend and colleague for years.”
“I know she will do a great job as the next DA for Cobb,” he said through a statement issued by the office.
Chief Assistant District Attorney John Melvin, who was serving as acting Cobb district attorney until Kemp announced his appointment, will now move on to serve as Reynolds’ chief of staff at the GBI. He told the AJC that he will leave for his new post “as soon as possible.”
Before becoming a judge, Holmes served as a prosecutor under Reynolds and Cobb County Solicitor General Barry Morgan. She’s also operated her own law firm.
Holmes, who said she will run for the district attorney’s seat for a full, four-year term next year, said she will continue the office’s work to keep dangerous people off the streets and provide rehabilitation for people who need treatment by steering them towards Cobb’s Accountability Courts.
The Cobb County District Attorney’s Office has not been shy in its prosecution of alleged gang members. Holmes said she will continue Reynolds’ mission of wiping out gangs in Cobb.
Holmes said she would be the first African-American and woman to serve as Cobb County’s district attorney. While she said she is “humbled” by that honor, she noted her qualifications for the post are just as important as her history-making appointment.
“Being a black woman, I think there’s a role that it plays and it’s one of pride in the community and one of perspective that can be given that may not have been given in the years before,” she said. “I think those things are a bonus for Cobb County.
Along with serving as a prosecutor and defense attorney, Holmes said she is also the vice president of the Council of Magistrate Court Judges. She was scheduled to become the organization’s president, but will now have to pass on that role so she can serve the people of Cobb.
As the county’s chief magistrate, she has been responsible for a staff of 70, including 16 judges, and managing a multi-million dollar budget.
Holmes, who grew up in Valdosta, serves on the Board of Directors for MUST Ministries and the Cobb Community Foundation. She is a member of the Marietta Rotary Club and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is married and has two daughters with her husband Bridges Holmes.