by Mike O'Neal Staff Writer
Local attorney Tom Crutchfield has started his campaign to become Hamilton County Circuit Court judge in Division II. The post will be vacated by the retirement of Judge Sam Payne.
"The reason I'm running is that this is what I know," Mr. Crutchfield said.
Since receiving his license in 1975, Mr. Crutchfield has practiced trial law in all local courts, both state and federal, and has sat as an appointed judge for several local judges.
"Tom Crutchfield has a wealth of experience as a litigator," said attorney Stuart James, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party.
"He is fair minded and objective. If he wins the primary he will make a fine judge."
Circuit Court has two distinct functions, Crutchfield runs for judge of Circuit Court The local attorney hopes to fill the seat vacated by retiring Judge Sam Payne.
Mr. Crutchfield said."First, it is a court that hears a very large share of the domesticrelations disputes in Hamilton County," he said in a statement. "I have been in court representing mothers, representing fathers, and representing children. I feel that my extensive experience in all domestic relations areas gives me the insight into family matters that can only come from years of being in court and being involved in these types of cases.
"Second, the Circuit Court has jurisdiction to hear civil cases for money damages. In Circuit Court these types of cases are most often cases for damages for personal injuries. I have not exclusively represented large companies, nor have I exclusively represented individual claimants. I have represented both, and my broad-based experience can only serve to provide me with fairness required to be a good judge."
Mr. Crutchfield, 56, is a lifelong resident of Chattanooga and a graduate of Baylor School, the University of Tennessee and the UT College of Law. He served in the Tennessee National Guard from 1971 to 1977.
He is a member of the Chattanooga and Tennessee Bar associations, was recognized by the pro bono program of Legal Aid of East Tennessee for his dedication, is a past member of the Hamilton County Democratic Executive Committee, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association and the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association.
"It is time for me to give back to the community," Mr. Crutchfield said. "It is a good way to round out my career."
A campaign rally is scheduled for Thursday at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo.
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