R. Deno Cole: “I have been (an attorney) here in Knoxville for 25 years. … I’ve been living here since I was 4 years old.. … Went to college in Charleston, South Carolina (at) The Citadel. I went to law school up in New York.
“… I started practicing in 1997, and I’ve got a very general practice, which I think makes me uniquely qualified to be a chancellor. …
“Chancery Court is more sophisticated in general. About 40 percent of it is divorces and family law, orders of protection, adoptions. And the rest is going to be like probate court; conservatorships, construction law. … breach of contract, business cases.
“…I’m the only candidate who’s argued cases in Court of Appeals, Court of Criminal Appeals, Tennessee Supreme Court and the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the Federal Court.
“… If you don’t have a judge that you can rely on to do the right thing, you end up in the Court of Appeals, and that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. … And there’s no guarantee what’s going to happen in the Court of Appeals.
“… Most of what a Chancellor does is actually motion practice; they’re not hearing trials, they’re hearing legal motions. … I can tell when I lawyer’s being straight up and really needs a continuance, or if that lawyer is just trying to get one over on the other side.
“… It’s important to know that you’re choosing somebody that’s going to be your judge for eight years, so you want to pick the most qualified, the most reasonable person for that position.
“When I went to law school, I was part of an organization called the Federalist Society. In fact, I was the president. … Federalist Society came into existence because there was a backlash against liberalism and lawsuits. The Constitution should be interpreted from an original standpoint: how did the Founders intend the meaning of the words?
“That was something attractive to me because I was hearing all the liberal garbage of law professors.
“… I invited (Supreme Court) Justice (Antonin) Scalia to come to my law school, and spent an entire day picking his brain; probably the most intelligent person I’ve ever met.
“I’ve always loved the interpretation of the law.”
Clarence E. “Eddie” Pridemore Jr., incumbent:
“If you look at Mr. (R. Deno) Cole, he’s been in Chancery Court in front of me 37 times in seven-and-a-half years; Mr. (Richard “Bud”) Armstrong has been in front of me two times in seven-and-a-half years.
“Since I’ve been in office I’ve presided over 9,502 cases. … I will point out in the last election, I beat the incumbent Democrat without any support from either one of my opponents; neither one of them even told me, ‘good luck.’
“I’ll also point out Mr. Cole gave money to the Democratic opponent in Circuit Court at that time; I’m not sure about Mr. Armstrong.
“I would appreciate your vote in the next election.”
Saying he had to leave, Pridemore cut his speech short when appearing with his GOP opponents at a recent Concord-Farragut Republican Club meeting, therefore his shorter wordage on this page.
Richard “Bud” Armstrong: “I grew up in East Knox County … I went to Carter High School … I went to the University of Tennessee, where I got a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree.
“And then I left the beautiful mountains of East Tennessee, and I went to the concrete mountains of New York City, and I got my first doctorate degree at Columbia University, the most liberal, socialist, communist school. … I walked out of there and remained a conservative because I was raised the right way in East Tennessee.
“Later on I finished my second doctorate of jurisprudence” at Nashville School of Law.
Chancery Court deals “with values … I know what Knox Countians believe and what they think. … even the Democrats do trust me.
“… I’ve also worked in this community all my life.”
“… And when you become a Chancellor, you have to take the facts of every given case and apply it specifically to that law. You have to have clarity.
“… I was elected the Law Director of Knox County. … It’s probably one of the toughest jobs. … You counsel, you advise and you represent all the elected officials. You also represent the schools. … We handled in the neighborhood of 500 cases; hearing a case is one thing, preparing a case is something else.
“… We litigated and won over $20 million of the taxpayers’ money. … I won $3 million in lost claims for the citizens of Knox County.
“… While I was Law Director, I was very fortunate to be appointed to the Board of Tennessee County Attorneys Association, which is all the law directors in the state of Tennessee. I was elected president of (TCAA) in 2016.”
As a volunteer of East Tennessee Historical Society and First Families of Tennessee Project, “I was on the Board of Directors for East Tennessee Historical Society, and I was treasurer when we raised $27 million to build at extension to (an historical building).”
Among his other current volunteer duties, “I’m currently serving on the legislative committee of Knox County Bar Association because I’m knowledgeable of the legislative process in Tennessee, where the law directs, and how the history comes behind these laws to have the ability to interpret the laws better.”