Tennessee voters consider state judges

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Voters are considering Gov. Phil Bredesen's appointments of two Tennessee Supreme Court justices and five appeals court judges.

Since 1994, only one judge has not been retained in the yes-no elections for the state's top judges.

Supreme Court Justice Penny White was the lone judge ousted after conservative groups accused her of not supporting the death penalty.

This year, there is no organized campaign against any of the judges on the ballot.

The two Supreme Court justices on Thursday's ballot are William C. Koch and Gary R. Wade.

In the Court of Appeals, the judges up for retention are Andy D. Bennett, 51, chief deputy attorney general until appointed last September; Richard H. Dinkins, 55, a chancellor in Nashville until appointed in January; and Steve Stafford, 52, a Dyer County chancellor until his appointment last month.

In the Court of Criminal Appeals, the judges are Camille R. McMullen, 37, an assistant U.S. attorney in West Tennessee until appointed last month, and D. Kelly Thomas Jr., 56, who previously served as a Circuit Court judge in Blount County.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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