Joe DeGaetano, local Chattanooga attorney and former Hamilton County Republican Party Chairman, announced his support of Judge Kyle Hedrick for Circuit Court Judge as the qualifying deadline approaches Thursday. Mr. DeGaetano had picked up papers to run for the post in November, prior to the announcement by Governor Bill Haslam to fill the vacancy created in October.
“Serving the citizens of Hamilton County as Judge would be an honor and a privilege. I respect the rigorous selection process, the work of the Trial Court Vacancy Commission, and the decision of our Governor, Bill Haslam - and I know Judge Hedrick to be an excellent choice,” said the area Republican of The DeGaetano Law Firm, who was one of three selected by the governor’s office for a judicial vacancy in 2012. “Supporting and endorsing Judge Hedrick is the right step, because he is highly qualified, has an excellent temperament, and has earned broad support in the legal community.”
Judge Hedrick was sworn into office on Dec. 13, 2017, following the appointment by Governor Bill Haslam. The process began with a detailed application process in July 2017 which included nine applicants. The five-month process included the gathering of background information by the Trial Court Vacancy Commission, letters of recommendation, an all-day interview with the commission, a TBI background check, and final interviews of the three finalists with the governor’s counsel and his staff, followed by an interview with the governor. The appointment was finally made on Dec. 11, 2017.
“Joe is an outstanding attorney and a credit to the Republican Party. Receiving his endorsement is a tremendous honor,” said Judge Hedrick. “It is humbling to have Joe’s trust as we work to earn the support of voters across Hamilton County.”
Judge Hedrick has also been endorsed by area retired judges, including the two judges who previously filled the seat in which Hedrick is currently serving, for the upcoming race:
The Honorable William M. (Mickey) Barker – TN Supreme Court Justice, retired
The Honorable William L. (Chink) Brown - Circuit Court Judge Division IV. retired
The Honorable W. Neil Thomas, III - Circuit Court Judge Division IV, retired
The Honorable Jacqueline Schulten Bolton - Circuit Court Judge Division I, retired
The Honorable Howell N. Peoples – Chancellor of the Chancery Court, retired
The Honorable Walter F. Williams – Chattanooga City Court Judge, retired