Summerville Attorney Don Thompson was named by Governor Nathan Deal to succeed Judge Jon “Bo” Wood in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit that covers Dade, Walker, Catoosa, and Chattooga Counties. According to a Chattanooga Times-Free Press article, Thompson was chosen over local District Attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin:
Deal appointed Thompson over Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin, who interviewed for the job Thursday. Attorneys David Dunn, Keith Edwards and Michael Giglio also applied for the job but were not chosen for interviews with the governor.
Attorney Kenneth Bruce, attorney William Lundy, Chattooga County Sheriff Mark Schrader, attorney Larry Stagg and Chattooga County Commissioner Jason Winters nominated Thompson for the position. Thompson’s law firm has also been politically active over the years, donating a combined $19,800 to Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Deal and state Sen. Jeff Mullis since 2010.
Judge Kristina Cook Graham praised the Governor’s appointment. You may remember the controversy I wrote about a couple of weeks ago concerning who will be the next chief of the circuit. Judge Wood appointed Graham to chief before he retired after promising to stay out of the decision, but Judges Brian House and Ralph Van Pelt disagreed and plan on holding a meeting to elect a chief. Judge Van Pelt told the Times Free Press that they plan on a meeting to do such after Thompson is sworn-in. A swearing-in date has not been set at this point.