ATLANTA — A Moultrie native formally announced her candidacy Friday for the open Georgia Court of Appeals seat.
Tabitha Ponder Beckford, daughter of the Rev. C.L. Ponder Jr. and Shirley Ponder, is a former public defender, insurance defense counsel and small business owner.
The seat was opened when current Georgia Court of Appeals Judge Sara Doyle announced her run for Georgia Supreme Court last week.
“I’m incredibly honored by the large number of people who have encouraged me both to run and throughout my entire legal career, and by all of those who have mentored me along the way,” Ponder Beckford said. “As a preacher’s kid I learned early on the importance of faith and community, and that focus served me well through Mercer Law, in private practice and in opening my own firm. I’m eager to launch our positive campaign dedicated to talking about the incredibly important role our appeals court plays in protecting the rights of every Georgia resident, and the importance of diversifying our courts.”
Born and raised in Moultrie, Ponder Beckford graduated from Colquitt County High School, then Albany State University, and finally Mercer University School of Law in 1999. She served as an insurance defense attorney for Clyatt, Clyatt & Golden in Valdosta, and then an indigent defense attorney for the Tift Judicial Circuit, before opening The Ponder Law Group, LLC, and Ponder-Solomon Law Group, PC, where she practices throughout Georgia.
A resident of Marietta, Ponder Beckford currently staffs the Georgia Judicial Council’s Access to Justice Committee under the leadership of Justice Robert Benham and Justice Charlie Bethel. She is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, the American Bar Association, the National Legal Aid & Defender Association, the Georgia Association for Black. Women Attorneys (GABWA), a Board Member of the Georgia Association of Women Lawyers (GAWL), a member of the Cobb County Bar Association, Gate City Bar Association, the Cobb County Branch of the NAACP, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
She and her husband, Dwane Beckford, have five children and two dogs and are active members at Faith Christian Center in Austell.