Joe DeGaetano drops judge bid, endorses Kyle Hedrick
Local attorney Joe DeGaetano has dropped his own campaign for judge of the Hamilton County Circuit Court's Division 4 and is putting his support behind Kyle Hedrick, he said in a news release Tuesday.
DeGaetano, Hedrick and Catherine "Cate" White were seeking the Republican nomination for the position. No Democrat had filed as of Tuesday evening. The qualifying deadline is Thursday.
In a statement, DeGaetano said: "Supporting and endorsing Judge Hedrick is the right step, because he is highly qualified, has an excellent temperament, and has earned broad support in the legal community."
Hedrick has held the post since December. Gov. Bill Haslam appointed him to replace Neil Thomas, who retired.
In the statement, Hedrick called DeGaetano "an outstanding attorney and a credit to the Republican Party" and added, "It is humbling to have Joe's trust as we work to earn the support of voters across Hamilton County."
The statement said Hedrick has endorsements from retired Tennessee Supreme Court Justice William "Mickey" Barker; former Circuit Court judges William "Chink" Brown, Thomas, and Jacqueline Bolton; retired Chancellor Howell Peoples and retired City Court Judge Walton Williams.
Mitchell slams Aetna over opioids policy
Dr. Danielle Mitchell, a Democrat running for Tennessee's 3rd Congressional District seat, said health insurer Aetna's new policy requiring prior authorization for opioid-based pain medication prescriptions lasting longer than seven days will hurt patients and health care workers.
In a statement, Mitchell said that while the policy may seem to help deter opioid abuse, it also may keep patients from getting proper care, will raise their costs and may lead to complications or death if they can't get medicine.
She also said the policy will be a paperwork nightmare for providers and allows Aetna to boost profits by writing fewer prescriptions.
"This policy lines the pockets of Aetna stakeholders while making life more difficult for health care providers and patients who rely on these medications," Mitchell said.
Blackburn endorsed by pro-life group
Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion organization, on Tuesday announced it is backing U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn to replace Bob Corker in the U.S. Senate.
"Marsha Blackburn is a tireless pro-life champion who never hesitates to go on offense on behalf of unborn children and their mothers," former U.S. Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, SBA List's vice president of government affairs, said in a statement.
In the statement, Blackburn said: "I am unapologetically 100 percent pro-life, and I'm grateful for the Susan B. Anthony List's support. As I always have, I will continue to stand up for unborn children and their mothers."
Blackburn was elected to Congress as a Republican in 2002 and has sponsored the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, as well as legislation to prevent taxpayer funding of abortion.