The election in August to fill the vacant seat of the 29th Judicial District Chancery Court is historic; the position seldom has been contested.
Robert D. Jones became judge of the Dyer County Law and Equity Court in 1934 and retired in 1982. During his almost half-century tenure, Jones faced a challenger only once. In August 1974, Jones defeated Joe Boyd, 3,311 votes to 2,958 cast for Boyd.
Jones died in August 1995.
The 9th District Chancery Court covered several counties in West Tennessee, but in the 1988 judicial realignment, Dyer and Lake counties were united in the current 29th Judicial District.
When Jones retired in 1982, former Dyersburg mayor David Lanier won the Law and Equity and Chancery Court judgeship in a four-way race with attorneys Charles M. "Bubba" Agee, Joe Boyd and John Palmer.
Lanier held the post until April 1993, when he was removed by the state legislature after he was indicted in federal court for civil rights violations.
Retired Weakley County judge Homer Bradberry was appointed in August 1992 by the Tennessee Supreme Court to serve temporarily as chancellor.
Attorney Steve Stafford was appointed chancellor by Gov. Ned McWherter in May 1993, where he served without opposition until he was appointed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals on June 12.
Stafford was two years into his second full eight-year term when he was named the appeals court.
Four people have qualified to run for the post -- Dyersburg attorney Mark Hayes, Dyer County General Sessions Judge Tony Childress, Lake County General Sessions Judge Danny Goodman and Dyersburg attorney Steve Scofield.
The election is Aug. 7.