State Supreme Court Seats on August 4 Ballot
Early Voting Starts Friday, July 15
BY SABRINA BATES
WEAKLEY COUNTY (July 15) – This year offers voters in Weakley County three elections for a variety of state, county and city seats. The first election was held in May, with candidates looking to get a place on the ballot next month as voters were asked to declare a candidate for their political parties. There were a handful of candidates who opted to seek office as “Independents” on a local level.
State-level candidates will vie for a spot on the mid-term ballot in November. Those seats include Governor, US. District 8 Congressman (House of Representatives) and District 76 State House of Representative.
Republican Governor Bill Lee is looking to keep his seat as Governor as the only Republican on the primary ticket next month. Democratic candidates are JB Smiley, Jr.; Jason Brantley Martin and Carnita Faye Atwater.
In the U.S. House race, incumbent Republican David Kustoff is looking to keep his seat, but faces challengers Danny Ray Bridger, Jr.; Gary Dean Clouse and Bob Hendry in the Republican primary August 4. Democrats include Tim McDonald and Lynnette P. Williams.
State Representative for District 76 Tandy Darby is the sole candidate for the state House seat.
Also among those listed on the August ballot are five State Supreme Court justices. The ballot will ask voters if the following candidates should be retained (keep their seat) or replaced. The governor of the state makes initial judicial appointments that are confirmed by the Tennessee State Legislature. State supreme courts are considered the ultimate interpreters of state laws and constitutions. A state supreme court’s decision is deemed final, unless the decision involves the U.S. Constitution or Federal Law. Justices serve for eight years after their appointment and then must stand for a retention election.
The five candidates to the State Supreme Court voters will be asked to retain/replace are:
Jeff Bivens of Nashville. He was appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam in 2014 and was retained by voters in August 2016. According to Ballotpedia, Bivens received a score of Mild Republican.
Sarah Campbell of Nashville. Governor Lee appointed Campbell to the court in January 2022 after Justice Cornelia Clark passed away from cancer in September of last year.
Sharon G. Lee of Knoxville. Lee was appointed to the court by Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen in October 2008 and sworn into office in 2009. She was retained by voters in 2014. Her Ballotpedia score is Mild Democrat.
Holly Kirby of Memphis. Kirby was appointed to the court in 2013 by Governor Haslam. She was retained in August 2016. Her Ballotpedia score is Mild Republican.
Roger A. Page of Jackson. Page was appointed to the court in 2016 by Governor Haslam. He was elected as chief justice by his peers last August. His Ballotpedia score is Mild Republican.
In the Tennessee Court of Appeals, voters will be asked to retain/replace the following candidates:
Kristi Davis for the Eastern Division. Davis is from Knox County and was appointed to the seat in 2020 by Governor Lee.
Thomas R. “Skip” Frierson for the Eastern Division. Frierson is from Morristown and was appointed to the seat in 2013 by Governor Haslam.
John W. McClarty for the Eastern Division. He was appointed to the seat by Governor Bredesen in 2009, making him the first African-American state judge to serve eastern Tennessee.
Mike Swiney for the Eastern Division. He was appointed in 1999 by Republican Governor Don Sundquist.
Andy D. Bennett for the Middle Division. He was appointed to the court in 2007 by Governor Bredesen.
Frank Clement of the Middle Division. Clement was appointed to the seat in 2003 by Governor Bredesen.
Neal McBrayer for the Middle Division. He was appointed in 2014 by Governor Haslam.
Kenny Armstrong of Memphis for the Western Division. He was appointed to the seat in 2014 by Governor Haslam.
Arnold B. Goldin of Memphis for the Western Division. He was appointed in 103 by Governor Haslam.
Carma Dennis McGee of Savannah for the Western Division. She was appointed by Governor Lee in 2019.
Steve Stafford of Dyersburg for the Western Division. He was appointed by Governor Bredesen in 2008.
Robert H. Montgomery of Kingsport for the Eastern Division. He was appointed by Governor Haslam in 2014.
James C. Witt, Jr. of Monroe County for the Eastern Division. He was appointed by Governor Sundquist in 1997.
Jill Bartee Ayers of Clarksville for the Middle Division. She was appointed in 2021 by Governor Lee.
Timothy L. Easter of Nashville for the Middle Division. He was appointed by Governor Haslam in 2014.
Robert Holloway, Jr. of Columbia for the Middle Division. He was appointed by Governor Haslam in 2014.
Robert W. Wedemeyer for the Middle Division. He was appointed by Governor Sundquist in 2000.
John W. Campbell Sr., of Shelby County for the Western Division. He was appointed in January 2022 by Governor Lee.
Ross Dyer for the Western Division. He was appointed by Governor Haslam in 2016.
Camille McMullen for the Western Division. She was appointed by Governor Bredesen in 2008. She is the first African-American female for the Tennessee Criminal Court of Appeals.
John Everett Williams of Huntingdon for the Western Division. He was appointed to the seat in 1998 by Governor Sundquist.
Voters in Weakley County have two polling locations to cast an early vote: in Dresden at the Weakley County Election Commission office, located at 135 S. Poplar St., Ste. A, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. until noon and in Martin at the Martin City Masonic Lodge, located at 7900 Hwy. 45S, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until noon. Early voting ends Saturday, July 30, with the election set for Thursday, August 4.
For a complete ballot for the August 4 election, see Page 3B of today’s edition.