Here is the text of the media advisory released this afternoon by Daugherty.
FORMER DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIR DON DAUGHERTY TO SEEK CRIMINAL COURT CLERK POST
Former Knox County Democratic Party Chair Don Daugherty announced today that he will
be a candidate for the Criminal Court Clerk vacancy. The vacancy, create by the passing of longtime clerk, Martha Phillips, will be filled by a special election on the November 4, 2008 ballot.
Daugherty, who resigned on June 6 from his position as chair of the local party, said that under state election law, the Democrats and Republicans will hold nominating conventions prior to the August 21, 2008 noon qualifying deadline to select their respective nominees for the general election. Neither party has scheduled a convention, but because the Democratic Party’s rules are silent about how a nominating convention may be conducted, the Democrats are meeting next Tuesday, July 29, 2008 to set the ground rules for their convention.
Daugherty has spent the past two weeks discussing the position with grassroots Democrats, as well as officeholders, candidates, and party officials, and lining up support for a race. Daugherty is convinced that he is more than qualified for the job. In addition to having a law degree and being an independent legal writer, he has been a legal administrator supervising a staff of attorneys and support personnel comparable to the clerk’s office, and was hired by the Circuit Court Clerk in the early 1990’s to establish the court cost and fines collection office of the Circuit and General Sessions Courts, to consult with the Circuit Court Clerk and District Attorney on those issues, and actually drafted the written manual used by the Circuit/Sessions Court Clerk’s cost collections’ department.
“More than anything,” Daugherty said, “we need competence, accountability, and leadership” in Knox County government. “The office plays an important role in our judicial system and we must block ‘political game-playing’ from entering into our judicial processes.
According to its website, the Criminal Court Clerk’s Office is responsible for retaining, preserving and managing all documentation regarding court proceedings. The office handles approximately 75,000 citations, misdemeanor citations, misdemeanors and felonies annually, and calculates and collects costs. The office, said Daugherty, has the potential to be a fully selfsustainable office, collecting millions of dollars more every year in costs.
To receive his party’s nomination, Daugherty will have to win an election at the Democrats’ yet to be announced county convention. “I have complete confidence that the Democratic Party’s governing board will implement a set of rules which will allow every Democrat in Knox County who wishes to participate to do so at the convention.” Daugherty says that he already has lined up “a substantial number of pledges” of support, that he will be appointing a campaign treasurer within the next few days, and that although he has committed to using some of his own funds, he will begin raising funds immediately to make the race.