The DeKalb County Democratic Party has a new chairman.
Jim Judkins was introduced as the new party leader during Saturday's mass meeting at the high school cafeteria. The retiring chair, Faye Fuqua, who has held the post for twenty five years, made the announcement.
Judkins, selected by the party's executive committee, said he is honored to have been chosen for this position and thanked his predecessor for the work she has done for the party. "I want to thank former Chair, or Chair Imeritus Faye Fuqua for her many years of service and devotion. She has been a teacher and an inspiration to me for many years. She means a lot to me."
"I am humbled and honored at the trust you have placed in me. This position is one I do not take lightly. This party is steeped in tradition. It is as old as DeKalb County itself, organized in 1838. The roots of the Democrat party run deep in DeKalb County. The founder of our party, President Andrew Jackson, spent the night about 1,000 yards from where we are, in the old Beckwith Inn."
"This party, as all previous parties, faces new challenges. We will meet those challenges fairly and diligently."
"Although the torch has been passed, we are still DeKalb countians. We share the same values, ideals, hopes, and dreams as our forebearers. While we look to the future, we must always remember from where we have come. We are the party of Edgar Evins, Joe L. Evins, and of McAllen Foutch."
Fuqua, in her remarks, called this a "New Era for DeKalb County Democrats".
"In the last 100 years, we have had only five chairs: Tom Webb, McAllen Foutch, Ed Fuqua, M.T. Puckett, and myself. It is indeed an honor and I am so very proud to serve the fine people of DeKalb County and the State of Tennessee for 25 years. The Executive Committee has been very supportive of me throughout all these years and I can say that I truly appreciate that."
"I took office in 1984, first serving as Women's Chair and then as the first woman to serve as County Chair. I also served on the state level as the State Chair.'
Speaking of her successor, Fuqua said "Jim is very in tune with both the long-standing traditions of the Democratic Party here in DeKalb County, as well as being the youthful embodiment of what our future holds. His leadership and drive, along with the tremendous support of all the young Democrats, is exactly what we need to move strongly into the future. More than all that, Jim knows and understands the people and politics of DeKalb County.'
"Of course, our team will depend on the rest of us to continue to provide support and share the wealth of experience we have gained throughout the decades. I will continue to serve on the Executive Committee and be a presence in whatever way I can. I encourage all of you to stay strong and supportive of the Party."
"Now I feel is it time to pass the torch to a new generation of leaders."
In addition to Judkins being named chairman, Larry Bain, Mack Harney, and Kim Luton were all named co- vice chairs.
Members of the executive committee are Mildred Clayborn, James Hale, Faye Iverlette, Sherry Bush, Jackie Smith, George Sperry, Betsy Driver, Jordan Wilkins, Glynn Merriman, Chris Summers, Katherine Pack, Faye Fuqua, and Mike Clayborn.
Several state and local candidates also announced their intentions during Saturday's mass meeting including the following:
(Click here to listen to the announcements of candidates for county offices)
District Attorney General: Randy York
Circuit Court Judge: Amy Hollars
County Mayor: Mike Foster
Circuit Court Clerk- Katherine Pack
County Clerk- Mike Clayborn, Glynn Merriman, and Chris Smithson
Register of Deeds- Jeff McMillen
Road Supervisor-Jimmy Sprague
County Commissioner Candidates:
(Click here to listen to the announcements of county commission candidates)
First District- Elmer Ellis, Jr.
Second District- Jack Barton
Third District- Jerry Scott, Roy Merriman, Bradley Hendrix
Fourth District- David McDowell, Jesse Baker
Fifth District- Randy Braswell
Seventh District-Larry Summers
(Click here to listen to the speeches of State Representative candidate Jamie Winkler, State Senate candidate Aubrey Givens, and State Representative candidate James Hale in that order)
State Senate Candidate: Aubrey Givens
State Representative- James Hale and Jamie Winkler (Sarah Marie Smith attended but did not make an announcement)
Governor candidates: Kim McMillan and Jim Kyle. Mike McWherter could not attend. Bert Driver spoke in his behalf.
(Click here to listen to Governor candidates speak)
Democratic candidates were not required to make an appearance during the mass meeting. All potential Democratic candidates have until noon on Thursday, February 18th to qualify for the May 4th DeKalb County Democratic Primary.
Independents for county offices also have until February 18th to qualify for the August General Election.
Candidates for state offices, Governor, Congress, State Senator, and State Representative, have until noon April 1st to qualify for the Tennessee Democratic and Republican Primaries in August.
In addition to those who announced Saturday, the following Democrats have either picked up or returned a qualifying petition to the Election Commission Office.
David C. Redmon (picked up petition)
Register of Deeds:
Clarence R. Trapp (picked up petition)
County Commission Third District:
Johnathan W. Willoughby (picked up petition)
County Commission Fourth District:
Ronald H. Rogers (picked up petition)
County Commission Fifth District:
Johnny Ringo Colwell
John D. Green
County Commission Sixth District:
County Commission Seventh District:
Jimmy W. Poss
County Commission candidates running as Independents in the August General Election
Lloyd Emmons (Independent) picked up petition
Richard Kinsey (Independent)
Meanwhile, candidates for the Board of Education who have picked up petitions for the August General election include the following:
John David Foutch (picked up petition)
Charlie Robinson (picked up petition)
Johnny Lattimore (picked up petition)
School board candidates run as non-partisans and have until noon April 1st to qualify.
Meanwhile candidates who have picked up petitions for the Smithville Municipal Election include the following:
Steve White (picked up petition)
Cecil Burger (picked up petition)
Taft Hendrixson (picked up petition)
Bruce Medley (picked up petition)
The Smithville Municipal Election will be held on June 15th to elect a mayor and two aldermen. Candidates run as non-partisans and they have until March 18th to qualify.
(Pictured second from top: Bottom row left to right: Betsy Driver, Larry Bain, Jordan Wilkins, Kim Luton, and Glynn Merriman; Back row left to right: Chris Summers, Katherine Pack, Jim Judkins, Faye Fuqua, and Mike Clayborn)