Family law attorney announces run for Hamilton County Circuit Court judge

Family law attorney announces run for Hamilton County Circuit Court judge

November 22nd, 2017 by Zack Peterson in Local Regional News

Catherine White speaks to reporters during an editorial board meeting at the Chattanooga Times Free Press on Wednesday, April 9, 2014.

Photo by Erin O. Smith

Catherine White is running for Hamilton County Circuit Court judge in the May 1 county primary elections.

White, a longtime family law attorney and Republican, officially announced her candidacy Monday, saying her 27 years of experience is fitting for a position that handles a huge number of domestic cases. Attorneys Joe DeGaetano and Kyle E. Hedrick also have picked up nominating petitions to run as Republicans.

"The families of Hamilton County deserve someone on the bench who can dive right in and provide them with relief through good, sound, and efficient decisions," White said. "Not to underestimate my qualifications, I also have had experience with civil jury trials, property disputes, contract disputes, employment law — you name it, I have probably come across it."

Gov. Bill Haslam is still considering who will sit on the bench in Neil Thomas' place until the August county election when a new judge will be elected. Judge Thomas retired on Oct. 5.

"The governor has interviewed the three candidates selected by the Trial Court Vacancy Commission," Haslam's press secretary, Jennifer Donnals, wrote Tuesday. "There is no timeline set for a decision."

White, who graduated from Girls Preparatory School in 1978, said she received a degree in broadcast journalism from Baylor University in 1982 and became an attorney after working in the news media for several years. White has been licensed to practice in Tennessee since she graduated from Cumberland School of Law in 1988.

In her official announcement, White said she attends church at The Ministry Center and is a member of the Hamilton County Republican Women, the Pachyderm Club, the Mayor's Council on Women, the Scenic City Women's Network and the Chattanooga Bar Association.

She is supported by her children, Kassey and Shiloh, and the Forrest Cate family. She also ran for a Circuit Court judgeship in 2014 when Jacqueline Bolton announced she would not seek another term in 2014.

Her opponent in that race, J.B. Bennett, now is on the bench.

Contact staff writer Zack Peterson at or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @zackpeterson918.