I am a practicing attorney in Chattanooga and I wholeheartedly support Gwen Tidwell for Criminal Court clerk. I recently saw a Channel 9 news story where Gwen’s opponent appeared in front of the courthouse condemning her for someone else who had posted copies of an endorsement by over 60 lawyers of Tidwell’s candidacy around the courthouses. It is obvious that the endorsement was posted by someone other than Ms. Tidwell - she immediately had the letters removed as soon as she found out about them. This “news event” says a lot about Gwen Tidwell’s opponent whose “appearance” (complete with news cameras) was obviously staged. I seriously doubt this guy carries a news crew around with him to address something so trivial. It is obvious from this fact alone that this is a candidate initiated story.
I can understand why he is so upset. Some of the most well-known and respected trial lawyers in Chattanooga are represented on the endorsement including prominent members of both major political parties. It is clear from his “news appearance” that Gwen Tidwell’s opponent may have just realized that this office is more than just about a political party, it is about competence to serve.
That is a scary thought indeed when one suddenly realizes that he is not competent for the job he is seeking. Serving as Criminal Court clerk requires specialized knowledge, experience and training. Gwen Tidwell possesses all of these qualities in great abundance – qualities her opponent simply does not have.
My only regret in this fiasco is that my name is not on that endorsement because I was out of town last week. Without a doubt, though, I will be voting for Gwen Tidwell on election day because she is the only choice in this race if you want to elect a qualified professional for this office.
Barry L. Abbott
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I am amazed at the nastiness that is going on in the Criminal Court clerk's race. Let me get this straight: A group of attorneys sign a letter in support of the incumbent and it gets posted in the courthouse. When that causes egg on the face of those involved, they want to attack the incumbent's opponent.
Excuse me, but I believe that Mr. Dean stated that he didn't believe Ms. Tidwell was responsible for posting those fliers. Since the defense attorney was out of town, he should have not relied on hearsay, or at the very least should have watched the news coverage and he would have known that Mr, Dean was not interviewed in front of the courthouse. One would think he would recognize that building.
The nastiness I am seeing is definitely coming from the incumbent side. Mr. Dean didn't look angry, as stated by the defense attorney. He actually kind of looked like he thought it was not a big deal. Bottom line is that the whole ordeal made the incumbent look bad by not taking the fliers down herself or seeing that they were taken down immediately, which they were not - another misstatement by the author. The letters were still posted the next day, as evidenced by the news when they were at the courthouse doing the story.
Also, I am not sure that having the defense attorneys endorse you is really such a good thing. I remember a couple of years ago a judge had some of the same ones endorse him. He lost. As Mr. Dean put it: just a desperate act of a failing candidate.