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Part-time Forsyth County Juvenile Court judge running for state position
John Rife
John Rife

A Forsyth County attorney and part-time Juvenile Court judge is hoping to replace current State Court Judge Leslie Abernathy-Maddox in next year’s election.

In early May, attorney John Rife announced his intentions to run against Maddox, who was first appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal in 2012 to replace now-Superior Court Judge Philip C. Smith.

Maddox was re-elected in 2014, though Rife said he hopes to take her seat next year.

“It’s time for a change in Forsyth County State Court,” he said. “The people of Forsyth County deserve a State Court judge that works and works hard on the bench. That’s why I am running for this important position that impacts every family of Forsyth County.”

Rife, who has practiced law for more than 25 years, serves as a judge pro-tempore, filling in for State Court judges in Cobb County and Juvenile Court judges in Forsyth.

A graduate of Leadership Forsyth, Rife is a member of the Rotary Club of North Forsyth, the Forsyth County Drug Council, is a mock trial coach and judge and serves on the Forsyth County Juvenile Accountability Court.

“With nearly 30 years of experience in the law as a prosecutor, defense lawyer and judge pro-tem, I am prepared to do the job and do it well,” Rife said. “I will not only faithfully execute the job as your judge by applying the law firmly and fairly, but I will be a working Judge that shows up to protect and serve the taxpayers of Forsyth County.”

Rife is a graduate of Henderson State University and earned his J.D. at the University of Arkansas.

He and his wife, Kimberly, live in the county with their daughter, Catherine, and are active members of the Browns Bridge Community Church.