Olens wins GOP nomination in Georgia AG primary

Jessica M. Karmasek Aug. 11, 2010, 12:11pm


ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) -- Sam Olens, the former Cobb County Commission chairman, has won the Republican nomination for Georgia attorney general, beating state Sen. Preston Smith.

Smith called Olens about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to concede the race.

"I wished him the best and pledged my support in November," Smith told the Rome News-Tribune. "I appreciate how the system works and respect the Republican voters' choice."

Unofficial returns Tuesday showed Olens with 58.9 percent of the vote with 99 percent of the precincts counted. He and Smith were forced into a runoff when neither received a majority in the July 20 primary.

"He was very gracious and said he wanted to help me defeat Ken Hodges," Olens told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution following his win. "I greatly appreciate his support and kind words."

After serving as a district commissioner, Olens was elected chairman of the Cobb County Commission in August 2002. In December 2004, he was elected chairman of the Atlanta Regional Commission.

A graduate of Emory University School of Law, Olens received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the American University in Washington, D.C.

Olens has practiced law in Georgia for more than 25 years, representing clients in both state and federal courts.

A partner of Olens & Ezor since 1983, Olens is a registered mediator/arbitrator with the Georgia Office of Dispute Resolution.

He was board certified in civil litigation by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in 2000 and is a fellow of the Lawyer's Foundation of Georgia. He is admitted to the Georgia and District of Columbia Bars, the Northern and Middle Districts of Georgia and the United States Supreme Court.

Olens and his wife Lisa have two children, Lauren and Jonathan.

He will now face Hodges, the Democratic former prosecutor, in November for the seat, which was left open when incumbent Thurbert Baker decided to launch an unsuccessful campaign for governor.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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