More than 350 people enjoyed good food and pleasant weather at McCord Farm Saturday during a barbecue for public safety employees.
Blount County General Sessions Judge David Duggan, who is running for the Division II Circuit Court judgeship in August, hosted the event. The Bud Allison Memorial Lodge #9 of the Fraternal Order of Police also announced they were endorsing Duggan in the race.
Blount County Sheriff’s Office detective Brian Frazier, vice president of the F.O.P. Lodge #9, explained why the group endorsed Duggan. The group was looking for someone who would not advocate from the bench but would instead understand the perspective victims and officers have in court.
Frazier said the membership was proud to endorse Judge David Duggan for Circuit Court judge in Blount County. “We are looking for a judge who understands law enforcement and not someone who just says they do to get your vote,” Frazier said.
The judge said he works with law enforcement officers each day and tries to do what’s right in each case. “Sometimes I rule against them, but they understand that,” Duggan said. “I understand the pressures they face.”
Duggan accepted the honor and thanked the members of the F.O.P. “I want to say how much all this means to me from the bottom of my heart,” he said.
Duggan said he was pleased and surprised with the turnout that organizers said numbered more than 350. “It’s a Saturday night in May. To have a turnout like this in May months before the election is very encouraging,” he said.
Duggan said there were personnel from Rural/Metro Ambulance Service, the 911 Emergency Communications, the fire department, sheriff’s department and the police departments. “It really means a lot,” he said.
Blount County Sheriff Chief Deputy Ron Dunn was glad to see the event honored emergency service personnel. “It’s wonderful. It’s an appropriate time to recognize emergency services personnel the way you do military personnel,” he said.
Corrections officer Alex Bus said, “I think he’s doing a pretty good job from everything I’ve seen and heard. He seems like a fair judge.”
Deputy Dick Comer said he was for David Duggan. “He’s a good General Sessions judge, and he’ll make a good Circuit Court judge. I’ve watched him in action,” Comer said.
Jared Anderson said the judge attracted a good crowd. “I think it shows how much support there is for conservative jurisprudence,” he said.
Deputy Rodney Postel praised Duggan. “He’s a good man,” he said.
Deputy Jarrod Millsaps, community outreach coordinator with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office, said Duggan was fair. “He looks at all angles and makes fair decisions,” he said.
Susan Mills of Blount County characterized Duggan as a man of integrity. “He has a varied legal experience. He has the demeanor a judge should have. He’ll be fair and apply the law,” she said.
State Representative candidate and commissioner Steve Hargis praised Duggan’s character. “All I know about Duggan is his fairness in dealing with people in his court,” Hargis said of Duggan’s effort to move from General Sessions to Circuit Court. “He’s an Alcoa grad, so we stick together.”
Assistant County Mayor and Blount County Republican Party chair David Bennett said the judge is working hard in General Sessions Court. “I believe David Duggan is doing a great job, and that’s why I’m working for him and voting for him,” Bennett said.
Commissioner Kenneth Melton praised Duggan. “Judge Duggan is one of the finest men I’ve ever met. He’s an upright and honest person,” Melton said. “I’d advise anybody to vote for him. He’s top-notch.”
Highway Superintendent Bill Dunlap talked about Duggan’s character. “David is one of the most conscientious people I know,” Dunlap said. “He’s straight down the line.”
Jimmy Melton and Tona Monroe-Ball, candidates for the State House of Representatives, sat beside one another at the event. Melton said the person elected to the position should be conservative. “To the people of Blount County, I think it’s important to elect a good solid Republican judge,” he said.
Monroe-Ball praised Duggan’s credentials. “David has always been a very nice man and a good Republican for a long time,” she said.
Commissioner Steve Samples said Duggan has much in common with those gathered at the event. “David Duggan shares our values, bottom line,” he said.
Blount County Commission chair and state representative candidate Bob Ramsey said Duggan has played an integral part in the Republican Party and local government for years. “We want him to continue to be a part of it,” he said. “He has impeccable character, is a gentleman, and he’s very compassionate. His understanding of the law is of the highest merit.”