Battle of the Former Chairs

The Knoxville Bar is all atwitter and checkbooks are at the ready.

Judges have eight-year terms and they tend to stay around for awhile, so when there is an opening it creates a lot of interest. This next year is a judiciary election year.

This is just some of the chatter thus far, not the final field.

Circuit Court Judge Dale Workman, after 24 years on the bench, is retiring. Expect a crowded field to replace him. Ray Jenkins, a former Knox County Republican Party chair, has announced he is seeking the job. Some attorneys hope Billy Stokes can be persuaded to run. Stokes is also a former party chair and a well respected attorney. Several other candidates could emerge.

The retirement of Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz leaves another opening. Leland Price, the lead prosecutor in the Christian-Newsom murder trials, is running as a Democrat. Scott Green is also expected to be in the race for the Republicans.

Earlier this year, Deborah Stevens was appointed to fill out the term of retiring Circuit Court Judge Wheeler Rosenbalm and Judge Stevens does not appear to have any opposition on the horizon.

Fourth Circuit Court Judge Bill Swann will likely be challenged by Greg McMillan.