CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Republican Mike Sharp unseated Democratic appointee Ginger Wilson Buchanan in the race for judge of Circuit Court in the 10th Judicial District.
Elsewhere in Southeast Tennessee, incumbent Jim Cobb defeated Jim Vincent in the Republican primary for the House District 31 race in Rhea and northern Hamilton counties. And a countywide sales tax increase referendum in Rhea County passed, 1,942 to 1,810.
Mr. Sharp thanked “an unbelievable group of people” who helped him in the district’s four counties of Bradley, McMinn, Monroe and Polk.
“This is something I have dreamed about for years, something I’ve wanted to do but only if it was God’s will,” Mr. Sharp said.
Mrs. Buchanan, a former Bradley County commissioner, said she probably won’t run again.
“You know, I’ve had three elections in the last four years. I just don’t think I can do this anymore,” she said.
Gov. Phil Bredesen appointed Mrs. Buchanan in February to fill the vacancy created with the resignation of John Hagler in late 2007. She practiced law in Cleveland and served as a juvenile court referee for campus court and a substitute judge for general sessions and juvenile courts.
Mr. Sharp moved to Cleveland with his family in 1967 and earned a law degree in 1989. During 18 years practicing law, Mr. Sharp also has served as a campus court referee and as a substitute judge.
Both candidates cited their courtroom experience and temperament as qualifications to hold the office, which carries an annual salary of $148,525.
Bradley County has 55,890 registered voters, according to the county Election Commission. In February nearly 32 percent voted.
All vote totals, which include federally mandated provisional ballots, are unofficial until certified by county or state officials.
Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...