Douglas County Chief Superior Court Judge David T. Emerson told the Sentinel on Tuesday that he will not seek reelection in 2022.

Emerson is currently in the middle of his eighth term on the bench. He was first elected in 1990 when he defeated incumbent Judge Robert J. Noland.

Noland and Judge Robert J. James were the first two superior court judges for the Douglas judicial circuit in the 1980s when it was carved out of the Tallapoosa circuit that included Paulding, Polk and Haralson counties.

Emerson assumed the chief judge position when James retired at the end of 2016.

Emerson is a 1973 graduate of the University of Georgia with a bachelor of science degree in math and a 1976 graduate of the Georgia School of Law.

He has spent his entire professional career — 45 years — in the county, having practiced law for 15 years prior to election to the bench.

As the child of a railroad employee, Emerson told the Sentinel during a previous campaign that his family moved frequently when he was growing up. He is a native of Sheffield, Ala., and graduated from high school in Macon.

When Emerson retires at the end of 2022, Superior Court Judge William H. “Beau” McClain will be the longest serving superior court judge and will become chief judge of the Douglas circuit. McClain was reelected last year without any opposition.

So far, attorneys Zaine Hedge and Nicole Jones have announced plans to run to replace Emerson for the nonpartisan judgeship next year.

Hedge is a Douglas County native and practices law with his father at the Hedge Law Office in Douglasville.

Jones has been practicing law for the last 17 years and is with the Jones, Federal and Appellate law firm.