COVINGTON — Candice Branche, the now former deputy chief assistant district attorney of Newton County, had her swearing in ceremony to become the Assistant Probate Court Judge and full-time Magistrate Court Judge Friday afternoon at the Newton County Judicial Center.

“Her diverse legal experience and her work experience prior to law school make her uniquely qualified for the breadth of matters covered by the two courts,” according to a release from Judge Melanie Bell’s office.

“I am very excited to work with Judge Bell once again and I am very excited to continue to serve the citizens of Newton County,” said Branche.

Branche received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and her masters in education in community counseling from the University of Georgia. Prior to her legal career, she worked 10 years in private psychiatric hospitals as a clinical director and director of utilization review. During that time, she also supervised more than 20 master-level clinicians as director of needs assessments and created the first tri-county mobile assessment team for Charleston, Dorchester and Berkley Counties in South Carolina. She subsequently operated a daycare for seven years, which specialized working with children from underprivileged households.

Branche graduated from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University in 2010 and has worked for the DA’s office since passing the bar. She currently serves as the prosecutor for juvenile court and the adult felony drug court, while also trying serious felony cases in Superior Court. Branche also serves as a mentor to new attorneys for the State Bar of Georgia.

Branche has lived in Newton County for 15 years and is the mother of two, Lexie and Lindsey.

“I am incredibly proud of my mom,” said Lexie. “She has been nothing but hard-working and independent her entire life and she has done an incredible job raising us and building her career.”

“I have always looked up to my mom,” said Lindsey. “She has always motivated us and never gave up on us. She is my No. 1 inspiration.”

Covington native and proud Valdosta State alumna, Hunter has previously worked with The Covington News and Valdosta Daily Times. She started working for Rockdale/Newton Citizen in June 2018.

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