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VALDOSTA — Gregory A. Voyles is the new judge for the Southern Judicial Circuit.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp named Voyles earlier this week to be a judge in the judicial circuit that includes Lowndes, Brooks, Echols, Colquitt and Thomas counties.

Voyles is a Lowndes County-based attorney who fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Southern Circuit Judge James Tunison Jr., according to a statement from the governor's office.

Tunison stepped down June 30 to return to private law practice. 

"There's nothing wrong," Tunison told The Valdosta Daily Times in June. "I'm just ready to return to practicing law and representing people. I've missed going to court and advocating for people."

Tunison served on the bench since 2009.

Voyles received his bachelor's degree in political science from Valdosta State University and law degree from Florida State University, according to information released by the governor's office.

He previously served as an associate attorney with William E. Moore Jr., P.C., a partner at Moore & Voyles, P.C., and as the owner and sole practitioner of Gregory A. Voyles, P.C.

He is a member of the Georgia Bar Association, Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, Georgia Association of Defense Lawyers and Valdosta Bar Association. 

Voyles and his family live in Hahira.

Voyles unsuccessfully ran for the seat against Tunison in 2008 following the retirement of Judge H. Arthur McLane.

Kemp also appointed Connie Williford to fill a vacancy in the Macon Judicial Circuit. The former holder of the seat, Verda Colvin, was appointed to the Georgia Court of Appeals.

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