Bradley says ‘replace’ judges; state says ‘retain’
by CHRISTY ARMSTRONG Banner Staff Writer
Aug 08, 2014 | 1026 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The majority of Bradley County voters chose to attempt, through their ballots, to replace all three of the Tennessee Supreme Court justices who were up for retention elections.

The opinions of local voters differed from the opinions of voters statewide, whose votes ultimately decided the justices should be retained.

State Supreme Court Justices Cornelia A. “Connie” Clark, Sharon Gail Lee and Gary R. Wade all faced retention elections this year.

All three are expected to remain in their positions after statewide results showed voters wanted to keep them.

“They, in effect, have another eight-year term,” said Michele Wojciechowski, communications director for the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts.

Voters faced a list of questions regarding each of the state’s appellate judges: “Shall [candidate] be retained or replaced in office as a judge of the [court], [particular division]?” The two options given for each candidate were “Retain” or “Replace.” 

Most Bradley County voters voted “Replace” on the questions regarding each of three state Supreme Court retention elections.

Locally, the state Supreme Court justices received the following votes: 

n Clark — 11,847 total Bradley County votes: 5,081, 42.89 percent, “Retain” and 6,766, 57.11 percent, “Replace.” 

n Lee — 11,774 total Bradley County votes: 5,110, 43.40 percent, “Retain” and 6,664, 56.60 percent, “Replace.” 

n Wade — 11,819 total Bradley County votes: 5,188, 43.90 percent, “Retain” and 6,631, 56.10 percent, “Replace.” 

Judges in the Tennessee Court of Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals, along with the state Supreme Court justices, go through a different process than other types of candidates to be placed in office.

After being chosen through an application process facilitated by a state committee, the governor appoints the state’s appellate court judges.

Every four years, the judges are evaluated by the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission.

Every eight years, voters can choose whether or not those judges remain on the bench.

“If they are not retained, the hunt begins for a new judge,” Wojciechowski said. “The judge’s term would end Aug. 31.” 

In the event that a judge was not retained, she said a new judge would need to be appointed by the governor. However, voters would have had an additional say in who serves in that capacity during the next election.

After a judge is not retained and the governor appoints a new one, the new judge is subjected to a contested election during the next election cycle. Wojciechowski said that means other candidates can run in opposition of them, much the same way a candidate might run for a regular political position.

Bradley County voters decided to vote to “Retain” all of Tennessee’s judges in the Court of Appeals and Court of Criminal Appeals.

Local voters cast the following votes: 

n Thomas “Skip” Frierson, Eastern Division Court of Appeals — 10,881 total Bradley County votes: 6,374, 58.58 percent, “Retain” and 4,507, 41.42 percent, “Replace.” 

n John W. McClarty, Eastern Division Court of Appeals — 10,814 total Bradley County votes: 6,320, 58.44 percent, “Retain” and 4,494, 41.56 percent, “Replace.” 

n Charles Susano, Eastern Division Court of Appeals — 10,818 total Bradley County votes: 6,163, 56.97 percent, “Retain” and 4,655, 43.03 percent, “Replace.” 

n Michael Swiney, Eastern Division Court of Appeals — 10,815 total Bradley County votes: 6,303, 58.28 percent, “Retain” and 4,512, 41.72 percent, “Replace.” 

n Andy D. Bennett, Middle Division Court of Appeals — 10,960 total Bradley County votes: 6,879, 62.76 percent, “Retain” and 4,081, 37.24 percent, “Replace.” 

n Frank Clement, Middle Division Court of Appeals — 10,855 total Bradley County votes: 6,449, 59.41 percent, “Retain” and 4,406, 40.59 percent, “Replace.”

n Richard Dinkins, Middle Division Court of Appeals — 10,666 total Bradley County votes: 6,232, 58.43 percent, “Retain” and 4,434, 41.57 percent, “Replace.”

n Neal McBrayer, Middle Division Court of Appeals — 10,677 total Bradley County votes: 6,334, 59.32 percent, “Retain” and 4,343, 40.68 percent, “Replace.”

n Holly Kirby, Western Division Court of Appeals — 10,631 total Bradley County votes: 6,357, 59.80 percent, “Retain” and 4,274, 40.20 percent, “Replace.”

n Steve Stafford, Western Division Court of Appeals — 10,627 total Bradley County votes: 6,451, 60.70 percent, “Retain” and 4,176, 39.30 percent, “Replace.”

n Norma McKee Ogle, Eastern Division Court of Criminal Appeals — 10,637 total Bradley County votes: 6,364, 59.83 percent, “Retain” and 4,273, 40.17 percent, “Replace.”

n D. Kelly Thomas Jr., Eastern Division Court of Criminal Appeals — 10,580 total Bradley County votes: 6,367, 60.18 percent, “Retain” and 4,213, 39.82 percent, “Replace.”

n James C. Witt Jr., Eastern Division Court of Criminal Appeals — 10,760 total Bradley County votes: 6,729, 62.54 percent, “Retain” and 4,031, 37.46 percent, “Replace.”

n Jeffrey S. Bivens, Middle Division Court of Criminal Appeals — 10,560 total Bradley County votes: 6,470, 61.27 percent, “Retain” and 4,090, 38.73 percent, “Replace.”

n Robert W. Wedemeyer, Middle Division Court of Criminal Appeals — 10,526 total Bradley County votes: 6,256, 59.43 percent, “Retain” and 4,270, 40.57 percent, “Replace.”

n Thomas T. Woodall, Middle Division Court of Criminal Appeals — 10,532 total Bradley County votes: 6,376, 60.54 percent, “Retain” and 4,156, 39.46 percent, “Replace.”

n Alan Glenn, Western Division Court of Criminal Appeals — 10,489 total Bradley County votes: 6187, 60.30 percent, “Retain” and 4,164, 39.70 percent, “Replace.”

n Camille R. McMullen, Western Division Court of Criminal Appeals — 10,484 total Bradley County votes: 6,879, 59.01 percent, “Retain” and 4,297, 40.99 percent, “Replace.”

n Roger A. Page, Western Division Court of Criminal Appeals — 10,505 total Bradley County votes: 6,293, 59.90 percent, “Retain” and 4,212, 40.10 percent, “Replace.”

n John Everett Williams, Western Division Court of Criminal Appeals — 10,514 total Bradley County votes: 6,321, 60.12 percent, “Retain” and 4,193, 39.88 percent, “Replace.”