S.C. Sen. Ray Cleary, who selected Benso with the help of a selection committee comprised of inlet residents, hasn't said when he will present his nomination to the governor for approval.
If approved, Benso, 60, said he will close his Pawleys Island area law practice.
He is anxious to get started on his new path, and is looking forward to the future with a mix of emotions, he said.
"I'm excited because this is a new challenge, but I'm also nervous, because it will require development of a fairly new skill set for me," he said.
Benso would succeed retiring Judge Bill Moeller, 73.
Benso opened the Law Offices of John Chappell Benso, P.A., in 1993. He is a native of Mount Pleasant and practiced law in Charleston and Hilton Head before moving to Georgetown County.
He is also a member of the Murrells Inlet 2020 board of directors and husband to Helen Benso, vice president of marketing at Brookgreen Gardens.
Benso is Cleary's second nominee for the position. Dave Jolliff, whose nomination was announced in December and heatedly opposed by some inlet residents, withdrew his candidacy in March.