Mills And Kershaw
Entered The Race
BY KEN LITTLE
A new district attorney general for the Third Judicial District, that includes Greene County, won't be chosen until 2014, but three candidates already have their hats in the ring.
One, Dan E. Armstrong, an assistant district attorney general, confirmed to The Greeneville Sun on Monday that he is a candidate for the Republican nomination for the position.
The other announced candidates are Cecil C. Mills Jr., also an assistant attorney general with the Third Judicial District; and Ed Kershaw, a lawyer in private practice in Greeneville.
Armstrong and Kershaw are seeking the Republican nomination. Mills will run as a Democrat.
The Third Judicial District includes Greene, Hamblen, Hawkins and Hancock counties.
Four-term District Attorney General Berkeley Bell, a Democrat who has held the post since 1982, has made it known that he does not plan to run for another term.
ARMSTRONG A CANDIDATE
Armstrong is a longtime assistant district attorney general with the Third Judicial District.
"I am a candidate, and I will be filing when the time comes to qualify in the Republican primary," he said Monday in a conversation with The Greeneville Sun in which he confirmed informal reports that he would be a candidate.
Armstrong, of Midway, is married to Kay Solomon Armstrong, Greene County Clerk and Master.
MILLS: DONATIONS ENCOURAGING
Mills, who recently announced his intention to run for district attorney general, is also an experienced Third Judicial District assistant attorney general.
Mills, who is also pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Greeneville, said in a news release earlier this month that donations to his campaign so far had "exceeded all my expectations."
He released his first financial disclosure for the race on July 11.
"I decided at the end of May to test the waters and give myself 30 days to raise $10,000.
"I have $9,400 in the bank and have pledges for that much more, so it looks like our campaign is off to a faster start than we expected," Mills said in the news release.
He stated in the release that he has "worked side-by-side for 29 years with one of the best district attorneys in Tennessee."
"My goal is to work hard every day to continue the outstanding leadership for the people of the Third District," Mills said.
He said his campaign is "already going strong."
"Our disclosure has convinced folks that we are in the campaign to stay. Our focus over the next 12 months will be running a campaign to win in every county," Mills said.
Kershaw has been campaigning for the district attorney general position since 2012, but he officially announced his candidacy on July 1 at the monthly meeting of the Greene County Republican Party.
In addition to his private law practice, Kershaw is the attorney for the Town of Mosheim and the Greeneville Housing Authority, is chairman of the Greeneville Civil Service Board and is a volunteer member of the Greene County Drug Court.
"I don't know how my campaign could be going any better. I have some absolutely fantastic people who have been helping me," Kershaw said Tuesday in a short interview.
Campaign managers working for him in the four counties of the Third Judicial District are doing a "great job," Kershaw said.
He indicated that he likes his chances of being elected to the district attorney general position.
"I wouldn't be putting forth all the time and the effort to run if I didn't think I could make some positive changes," he said.
Kershaw, who was involved in a trial earlier this week in Rogersville, said in the short interview that he did not have a total of funds donated to his campaign immediately available.
"We are receiving donations constantly, and (they) are much appreciated," he said.
"I'm thrilled with the donations I've received. I'm thrilled with the speaking obligations that I've been presented with, and I'm thrilled with the different events that people have hosted in honor of me."
PRIMARY IS POSSIBLE
Brett Purgason, chairman of the Greene County Republican Party, said Monday that a primary contest between Armstrong and Kershaw could happen next year.
"Most likely we will have a primary," he said. "I am still gathering information."
Republican Party organizations in each county also have the option of holding a caucus, rather than a primary, to decide on candidates.
Party chairs have until Nov. 22 to inform the Greene County Election Commission if primaries will be held for contested offices.