More than 200 people turned out to show their support for Judge Robert Headrick as he kicked off his campaign to win the General Sessions seat the county commission appointed him to in 2008.
The General Sessions Div. IV judge was sworn in after the commission named him to fill the unexpired term of Judge David Duggan in September of 2008. Duggan ran successfully for Circuit Court Division II seat.
Headrick praised his wife, Melinda, and judicial assistant Cora Ramsey for organizing the event on Nov. 17 at Sullivan’s restaurant.
“They worked very hard in making the event successful,” he said. “Melinda and I were proud and honored to have the widespread support we received at the reception.”
The judge said he has enjoyed every minute he has spent on the bench. “The Blount County Bar is made up of excellent attorneys, and it has been a pleasure every day to hear all matters, whether it be criminal or civil,” he said.
Headrick said his enthusiasm for the job has only grown, and he recalled his first day on the bench. “As I called my first docket, I realized I love my job, and over a year later doing this, believe me, I love my job,” he said. “It’s the lawyers and litigants appearing before me that make my job so fulfilling and interesting. I’m honored to perform the public service.”
Buddy Allen of Maryville said he believes Headrick has done a good job. “He had the experience and background before he came to this position, and I think the county is proud of him. This turnout showed it.”
County Commissioner Tonya Burchfield said she supports Headrick. “He’s got great support,” Burchfield said. “It’s a great turnout, and he’s an honorable man.”
Janice and Steve Fillmore, owners of Miss Lily’s Café Florist and Catering, praised Headrick. “He’s very fair and honorable,” Janice Fillmore said. Fillmore added, “He’s very family-oriented.”
Bobby Clark of Blount County said he has always been a Republican and said he has known the Headrick family for years. “I see him on the bench, and I know he’s a good man. He’s real thorough, quick, and I believe he’s fair,” Clark said. “I’m really impressed with him.”
State Sen. Doug Overbey said that Headrick has established a good reputation among bar members while only being on the bench a short time. “He’s known for his temperament and courtesy to those who appear in his courtroom,” Overbey said.
Brenda Thomas of Maryville pointed to Headrick’s moral character. “He’s an honest, hard-working family man who believes in morals,” she said. “He has his moral standards and expect the same from those people he’s around.”
Having known his family for years, Erma Giffin said “I don’t know of a nicer family. He’s fair and caring, and he believes he was born to serve and participate in justice for all.”
Monika Aistrop, a credentialed victim’s advocate with the Blount County District Attorney’s Office, said she is proud of her former colleague. Aistrop said she watches Headrick during the Domestic Violence docket each Thursday. “He’s doing an outstanding job. He’s fair, and he does not put up with nonsense from defendants. If they violate a court order, he deals with it quickly,” she said. “He is very compassionate with victims.”