Hamilton County voters elected two new judges Tuesday — choosing former prosecutor and public defender Boyd Patterson for the Criminal Court, Division 3, seat, and putting political newcomer Mike Dumitru on the bench in Circuit Court, Division 2.
Both Dumitru, 39, and Patterson, 52, are Republicans; no Democrats qualified to run in either race so they are unopposed in the Aug. 4 general election.
Dumitru bested Jim Exum for the judge seat.
"My family came from a place where we didn't have rule of law and this is a way to give back," Dumitru said Tuesday night after results were tallied.
"We started this about a year ago, and I am going to use the opportunity to give back to the community that has adopted us. I am excited and grateful."
Although he lost the race, Exum thanked all those who helped him with his campaign.
"The past few months have allowed me to meet so many people, and I am honored to have had the opportunity," Exum said. "This campaign wouldn't have been possible without the strong support of my family and countless volunteers and supporters. I am grateful for all you've done. Being considered and supported by voters in Hamilton County has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I offer my sincerest thanks."
Patterson defeated Rebecca Stern, who previously served as a Criminal Court judge, and Amanda Dunn.
"The campaign team put together a fantastic platform across the county," Patterson said via telephone Tuesday night. "I look forward to serving the citizens both in court and out of court roles. So many factors serve as the root cause of kids going to gangs, and I hope our community can work together as a team within our appropriate roles to make Hamilton County safer and stronger."
In the county's only nonpartisan judicial election, voters re-elected City Court Judge Sherry Paty, 58, to a third term. She defeated Brian Bush. Paty could not be reached for comment.
As the primary comes to a close, there were several other judicial contests on the ballot Tuesday, but those judges were unopposed in the GOP primary and have no Democratic opposition in August.
Re-elected to eight-year terms were:
— Circuit Court Judge J.B. Bennett.
— Circuit Court Judge Marie Williams.
— Circuit Court Judget Kyle Hedrick.
— Chancellor Pam Fleenor.
— Chancellor Jeff Atherton.
— Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman.
— Criminal Court Judge Tom Greenholtz, who will appear on the August ballot even though he will take a seat on the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals after being nominated to the post by Gov. Bill Lee and confirmed by the Tennessee General Assembly.
Judges take office Sept. 1.