NASHVILLE - Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper says he plans to seek reappointment by the state Supreme Court after three Democratic justices survived efforts by Republicans to defeat the judges.
"Tennesseans sent a clear message last week that they want an independent, nonpartisan judicial branch," Cooper said in a statement. "That is how I have run the Attorney General's office over the last eight years, and I am proud of our many accomplishments. I am strongly convinced the office must continue in this direction."
Cooper added, "I am honored to serve as Tennessee's Attorney General and will apply for another term."
Cooper, a Democrat with Chattanooga ties, was the target of repeated criticisms by Republican state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey and outside groups as they sought to oust Justices Connie Clark, Sharon Lee and Gary Wade, who easily survived GOP efforts to defeat them.
Ramsey and the groups charged the Supreme Court justices were liberal and Cooper as well. The justices were up on a retain/reject ballot.
The main gripe against Cooper was he did not join with Republican state attorneys general in states like Georgia in challenging the Affordable Care Act.
Tennessee is the only state in the country where the attorney general is appointed by the Supreme Court.