Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Alex McVeagh officially launched his campaign today to replace Circuit Court Judge Marie Williams in the Third Division of Hamilton County’s Circuit Court (11th Judicial District), who recently announced her plans to retire on January 3, 2024 after serving 28 distinguished years.
Judge McVeagh will seek the Republican nomination for this judicial seat. The primary election is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, 2024 with the general election scheduled for Thursday, August 1, 2024.
“Words cannot express the appreciation I have for Judge Marie Williams and her 28 years of service to this community,” stated Judge McVeagh. “It would be an honor to even attempt to fill her enormous shoes, as well as the shoes of her predecessor, the late Muecke (Mickey) Barker, who presided over Circuit Court’s Third Division prior to becoming Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice.”
McVeagh officially launched his campaign after the Secretary of State’s Office and the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance confirmed the election to fill Hamilton County’s Circuit Court Division III seat will occur next year; therefore, candidates are now allowed to begin campaigning for this seat under Cannon 4 of Tennessee’s Code of Judicial Conduct.
In addition, McVeagh announced Garnett Decosimo of Decosimo Corporate Finance will serve as the campaign treasurer, and Vince Butler and Katelyn Statom will serve as campaign manager. Leading the campaign’s finance committee will be Mike St. Charles of Chambliss Law Firm, Lee Brock of Linda Brock Homes and Arch Trimble IV. The honorary campaign chairs for the campaign are former Tennessee Representative Joan Carter, retired Hamiton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and retired Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond.
McVeagh has served as a judge since 2017 when he was appointed by former Governor Bill Haslam to replace General Sessions Court Judge David Bales. Judge McVeagh has since been overwhelmingly elected by the citizens of Hamilton County last August. During his campaign, Judge McVeagh had the honor of working with his friend and mentor, Justice Barker, who served as McVeagh’s campaign treasurer prior to his passing earlier this year.
Judge McVeagh and his colleagues regularly hear an average of 14,000 civil cases and 60,000 criminal cases each year. Judge McVeagh also founded and still presides over the misdemeanor Drug Recovery Court, which serves individuals suffering with addiction issues with treatment, strict supervision, drug testing, and required education and employment, all while saving Hamilton County taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in incarceration and recidivism costs.
“Judge McVeagh’s service and dedication to those in our civil and criminal justice systems has been extraordinary,” stated former Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond. “It is important that we have experienced and tested state judges, and I believe that Judge McVeagh’s legislative, legal and judicial experience makes him the best candidate for the job.”
Judge McVeagh obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from Vanderbilt University, as well as a Juris Doctor degree from Vanderbilt Law School. He previously worked as a litigator at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel in Chattanooga, where he primarily practiced civil law in state and federal courts throughout Tennessee and Georgia. He also previously served as Assistant City Attorney for the City of East Ridge, as head research analyst & law clerk for the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Committee, and as Director of Special Projects for the Tennessee Republican Party.
“I wish Judge McVeagh the best of luck and believe he will make a fantastic Circuit Court state trial judge,” said former State Representative Joan Carter. “I appreciate his service to this community and to the practice of upholding the rule of law in Hamilton County. It only makes sense that in a recent bar association poll, local lawyers rated Judge McVeagh as Hamilton County’s best sitting judge in terms of his good moral character, legal ability, judicial temperament and diligence.”
In 2019, Judge McVeagh served on the advisory board to create Chattanooga’s Chapter of the Federalist Society. He is also one of Tennessee’s delegates to the American Bar Association House of Delegates and is Vice President of the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. He also serves on the executive committee of the Tennessee General Sessions Judges Conference and is a member of the Brock-Cooper Chapter of the American Inns of Court and the Downtown Chattanooga Rotary Club. Judge McVeagh is also a past recipient of the Chattanooga Bar Association’s “Volunteer of the Year.”
In 2018 and again in 2021, the Tennessee Supreme Court appointed McVeagh to serve on its Access to Justice Commission. Currently the Commission’s vice chair, McVeagh is the first and only sitting judge to serve on the Commission. During this time, McVeagh and the Commission started an online dispute resolution pilot program in Chattanooga to assist healthcare patients and providers in resolving outstanding medical debt before a lawsuit is filed.
Judge McVeagh also continues to serve on the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Technology Oversight Committee, where he helped draft standards for electronic filing in all courts throughout the state, and regularly reviews applications from jurisdictions seeking to implement electronic filing in their courts. McVeagh hopes to assist Hamilton County’s clerks with the implementation of this important technological advancement.
For close to a decade, Judge McVeagh has organized Hamilton County’s local high school mock trial competition (the largest local mock trial competition in the state), and continues to help organize numerous clinics, including expungement clinics and clinics that provide free estate planning documents to military veterans, police officers, firefighters and first responders.
To learn more about Judge Alex McVeagh and follow his campaign to become the next Circuit Court Judge in Hamilton County, please visit https://www.votejudgealex.com.