Longtime Chattanooga attorney Arthur C. Grisham will run as an independent in the August election to fill the vacant judgeship on Hamilton County's Chancery Court.
He joins Republican candidate Jeffrey Atherton and Democratic candidate Valerie Epstein.
Long a fixture in Chattanooga's civil courts, Mr. Grisham, 67, said he never thought about running until his colleagues began stopping him in the halls earlier this year to tell him what a great judge he would make.
"I really have been blessed by the practice of law in Chattanooga," Mr. Grisham said Friday. "I will use my experience and legal knowledge to help my community continue to experience the high standards of justice we have had during the 39 years I have practiced law."
Mr. Grisham in the past has served as president of the Chattanooga Bar Association and served one term as a member of the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility disciplinary hearing panel. He is a solo practitioner, regularly litigating cases in the Chancery and Circuit courts.
Mr. Grisham's friend Curtis Johnson, a retired executive with Bi-Lo, said he has known Mr. Grisham for more than 20 years and supports him fully in the campaign.
"He's got high integrity. It's something you see in him, not just something you hear about," Mr. Johnson said of his friend.
Arthur C. Grisham
* Age: 67
* Family: Married, two children
* Education: J.D., University of Tennessee, 1971
In February Mr. Grisham became one of three local attorneys to be nominated to serve as the interim chancellor, who would have temporarily performed Chancellor Howell Peoples' job when he retired at the end of March.
Gov. Phil Bredesen still has not appointed any of those nominees, making it likely that the retired East Tennessee judge currently filling in will serve until the Aug. 5 election. Chancery Court has two chancellors and is the main local venue for administering wills and litigating cases involving disputes over money.
Mr. Grisham always had said from the beginning that he intended to run, regardless of the interim situation or his ability to be supported by a political party.
"I will make every effort to make sure justice is available to all, not merely to those who have, but also to those who have not," Mr. Grisham said.
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