More than 270 people dropped by Franklin Pavilion in Blount County Saturday to wish Judge David Duggan well in his race to become judge in Circuit Court Division II.
Duggan said he was happy with the turnout at the barbecue. “It’s very encouraging. I appreciate how folks are coming out,” he said as supporters milled about the pavilion owned by Chester Franklin just off Sevierville Road.
The General Sessions judge is campaigning to be elevated to the Circuit Court Division judgeship. He is running against incumbent Democrat Judge Mike Meares.
Duggan said he has been going door-to-door for three weeks in communities from Lanier to Shucks Gap. “Everywhere I go, we’re getting support,” Duggan said. “It’s just very humbling.”
Dave Bennett, chair of the Blount County Republican Party, said it was important for Duggan to be elected to the Circuit bench. “He’s conservative, knows his role as a judge, and he won’t use that role as a judge to further David Duggan. He’ll use it for the betterment of the citizens. He’s fair and equitable and everyone has access,” Bennett said.
Chester Franklin said he counts Duggan as a friend. “He’s a good fellow. I’ve known him for years, and he used to do work for me. He’s doing a good job. I think it’s important we elect him as our judge,” Franklin said.
Former Blount County commissioner J.C. Franklin voiced his support for Duggan and said he could work with fellow judges and lawyers. “Whomever is elected is going to a presiding judge eventually, so they’ll be boss for a while,” he said of the Local Rule in which the presiding judge who assigns cases between the two circuit judges rotates.
Jim Angel said he plans to vote for Duggan. “I think David is head and shoulders above the opposition,” he said.
Bobbie French also supports Duggan, she said. “I’ve known David a long time, and love him like a son. David is a good Christian, honest person,” she said. “That’s what we need at all phases of government.”
Judy Wilkinson said Duggan was her family attorney for several years. “He’s just a super guy, honest and salt-of-the-Earth,” she said. “I’ve never heard anything bad about him.”
Sonny Day said he planned to vote for Duggan and said winning the election was important for the Republican Party. “If there is a better conservative Republican, I don’t know him,” Day said. “I don’t have a problem with David Duggan at all. He is the Republican Party platform.”