Secretary of State candidate faced judicial ethics investigation

Former Treutlen County judge T..J. Hudson is running for Secretary of State.

Former Treutlen County judge T..J. Hudson is running for Secretary of State.

A former judge challenging Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in the Republican primary was being investigated for alleged ethics violations when he resigned from the bench to run for statewide office.

T.J. Hudson, the former chief Magistrate Court judge and Probate Court judge in Treutlen County, resolved the state Judicial Qualifications Commission investigation in a consent agreement recently filed before the Georgia Supreme Court. In it, Hudson agreed not to seek judicial office for the next seven years.

“I am focused on launching my bid to serve Georgians as Secretary of State, and have no comment on a matter well handled by the JQC,” Hudson said in a statement issued Tuesday.

According to the court filing, Hudson was being investigated on allegations he required a person to appear before him in court for a contempt hearing and then wrongly sentenced that person to jail time. The name of the person who was jailed and the date when it occurred were not specified in the state judicial watchdog agency’s filing.

The JQC filing said Hudson possibly violated 10 canons of the state code of judicial conduct.

Hudson, who is from Soperton in southeast Georgia, resigned from the bench on April 19 to run for Secretary of State. He will face off in the GOP primary against Raffensperger, four-term U.S. Rep. Jody Hice and former Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle.

The eventual GOP nominee will likely face either state Rep. Bee Nguyen or former Fulton County Commission chair John Eaves, who are competing in the Democratic primary.

On Jan. 14, 2019, Hudson took the stage at Georgia Tech’s McCamish Pavilion when he administered the oath of office and swore in Brian Kemp as Georgia’s 83rd governor.

Brian Kemp takes the oath of office to become Georgia’s 83rd governor while his wife, Marty, holds the Bible and his daughers look on. Judge T.J. Hudson is administering the oath. Photo: Hyosub Shin /

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