Chief State Court Judge Linda S. Cowen told The Clayton Crescent Thursday that she will retire as of December 31.

Chief State Judge Linda S. Cowen

Cowen said she was considering a senior judgeship, which would allow her to come back and help out as needed, but that she is ready to take a break and enjoy her family. In particular, Cowen said she wants to spend more time with her adult son who has severe autism. She also has a son in college.

Cowen, the first woman to preside as judge in Clayton County State Court, was appointed in December 1995. In 2006, she helped found the Clayton County DUI/Drug Court program. Cowen also was elected president of the Council of State Court Judges in 2013. That organization named her the winner of the Ogden Doremus/Kent Lawrence Award in 2014.

According to, Cowen sent her written resignation to Gov. Brian Kemp on July 1:

Cowen appeared on The Real Story with Robin Kemp at the beginning of the COVID-19 epidemic. She talked about holding trial by YouTube Live, accountability courts as crimefighting tools, mental health, homeless people at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, and her election campaign.. You can listen to the interview here:

Listen to Cowen answer questions from the Clayton County Young Democrats during the 2020 campaign:

Because Cowen has two more years on her current term, that would allow Kemp to appoint her replacement. Nominations are due today, with applications due by October 7.

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Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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