But Gov. Zell Miller opted instead to name a woman to the seat.
That woman, Judge Anne Workman, is retiring at the end of the year and Mason, who now has 14 years under his belt as an administrative law judge with State Board of Workers' Compensation, is taking a second stab at getting the job.
Having written more than 1,000 decisions and been judge and jury on the cases that come before him, he says he is even more qualified now to sit on the Superior Court bench.
Prior to that he was a trial lawyer for 10 years trying felony criminal and domestic cases involving divorces and child custody. He also argued a case before the Georgia Supreme Court and taught law classes as an adjunct professor at the John Marshall School of Law in Atlanta.
"I have a proven judicial record of fairness and impartiality," he says. "I have a proven commitment of service in the legal profession and in the community. My years as a trial attorney taught me about the courtroom from the perspective of clients, attorneys, jurors, witnesses, and Judges. My years as a Trial Judge taught me the importance of fairness, impartiality, open-mindedness, and efficiency."
A "Grady baby," Mason grew up in the Kirkwood neighborhood and graduated at the top of his law school class. He says his experience and judicial temperament qualify him for the job.
"When you find yourself in Superior Court, you want someone who can see the world from your perspective, someone who knows the challenges families face every day, someone who grasps the vulnerability you may feel," he said.
When people come to court, Mason said it is important to know that there is a judge on the bench who understands the true meaning of fairness, equality and justice and can run a well-managed courtroom.
"You want someone on the bench who takes charge," he said. "Anyone who has sat for hours during jury duty may have said, "There's got to be a better way to run this place."
At 52, Mason, who lives in Atlanta, is the oldest of the three candidates seeking the seat.
He says his life experiences will help him see beyond the legal world and provide real justice for real people. He points to his membership at Ebenezer Baptist Church, a varied resume that includes washing dishes at Waffle House, stocking shelves as a warehouse worker, supervising claims as an insurance adjuster, feeding the homeless at Cafe 458, and being an election observer in South Africa in 1994 when Nelson Mandela was elected president.
"A judge must be able to listen, hearing from all sides, and viewing the issues from different perspectives," he said. "I can be that judge for you."