The eventual GOP nominee is likely to face a tough Democratic challenge. State Rep. Bee Nguyen, an Atlanta Democrat and outspoken advocate for expanding voting rights, is widely expected to launch a campaign for the seat.
Hudson declined to say in an interview whether he would have backed Trump’s false claims of systemic voter fraud or pushed to invalidate the outcome of the state’s election, which was confirmed in three separate tallies. But he said “much could have been done better” to prepare local officials for the election.
“Elections officials weren’t given a fair chance. There was a lack of preparation for the brand-new voting system,” he said of the new voting machines that debuted in the last cycle, “and I’d do a better job of getting them prepared.”
In many larger counties, full-time managers are hired to supervise elections. But in rural areas such as Treutlen, a southeast Georgia county of roughly 7,000 people, probate judges serve as the supervisor of elections and carry out other duties, such as administering wills and issuing marriage licenses.
Hudson said the broad scope of responsibilities have given him a fundamental understanding of the statewide post, which oversees Georgia’s elections, grants professional licenses and maintains public records.
“I’m going to get out and let Georgians meet me and decide for themselves,” Hudson said. “If they meet me, I know I’m going to be their clear choice.”
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 / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com