Duggan to run for circuit seat; Gallegos chooses to stay put

Blount County General Sessions Judge David Duggan wants a new job, and Judge Mike Gallegos likes the job he has.

Duggan announced Monday night at the meeting of the Blount County Republican Party Executive Committee that he intends to run for Blount County circuit judgeship during the 2008 campaign cycle. He will seek the Republican nomination for Division II Blount county Circuit Court in the Feb. 5, 2008, primary.

Blount county Republican leaders had been encouraging Gallegos to run for the seat. He announce on Sunday, Oct. 21, that he had decided not to run.

“Since my interest in running for Circuit Court judge was announced, I have received encouragement from many good people from different walks of life to seek that office,” he said in a statement. “However, at this time, with four small children, I feel that I need to concentrate my energy on my family and my job.”

“I greatly enjoy my job as General Sessions Judge, and am privileged to serve the citizens of Blount County in that capacity,” he said. “I truly appreciate all of the encouragement that I have received.”

The seat was vacated by Judge D. Kelly Thomas when Thomas was appointed to the criminal court of appeals. Maryville attorney Mike Meares was appointed by Gov. Bredesen to fill the seat until the next election. Meares has announced that he will seek the Democratic nomination and hopes to retain his seat.

Duggan, who currently serves in Blount County Division IV General Sessions Court where he handles criminal, civil, domestic and probate cases, said he initially said he was not going to run for circuit judge.

“Many persons have encouraged me to reconsider that decision and to enter the race," Duggan said. "After much thought, including consideration of what I have to offer as a judge, I have decided to become a candidate.”

Duggan noted that while a candidate for judicial office can not make promises other than to faithfully and impartially perform the duties of office, he would like to pursue his ideas for improving the administration of local courts. “I have the work ethic and the demeanor to serve in this important public position,” he said.

Duggan is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Tennessee where he earned bachelors degree, a master’s degree and a law degree. As an undergraduate, he received the Dr. Ruth Stephens Award for scholarship in international relations and a Thurman Sensing scholarship from the United States Industrial Council.

In law school, Duggan, an honor graduate, received several scholarships and the American Jurisprudence awards for jurisprudence and land finance. Duggan, a graduate of the Tennessee Judicial Academy, has served as a moot court competition judge for the University of Tennessee Law School and has participated in the Tennessee Supreme Court’s SCALES project. He is past president of the Blount County Bar Association and a member of the Federalist Society.

Duggan has been active in the community affairs, serving as a founding board member, past president and current secretary of the Alcoa City Schools Foundation; board member and committee chairman of the Alcoa Kiwanis Club, board member and past president of the Alcoa Youth Baseball, board member of both the Blount County Historic Trust and the Blount County Historical Museum and a member of the Sons of the Revolution. He also serves as Alcoa City historian.

Duggan attends the Alcoa First United Methodist Church where he teaches Sunday School, has led a C.S. Lewis discussion group for several years and serves as charter representative for the Boy Scouts and as a member of the building fundraising committee. He also serves as chairman of the district board of trustees for the United Methodist Church.

In the past, he has served as president of the Blount County Boys Club, president of the Child and Family Services of Blount County and as chairman, vice chairman and treasurer of the Blount County Republican Party.

Duggan is married to the former Kari Ludwig, and they have four children: Adam, John, Mary and Emily.

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