Jason Hudson is the new general sessions, juvenile and probate court judge for Dyer County.
The Dyer County Commission selected him in a single ballot on Monday night.
Hudson, who currently serves as the Newbern city judge, must resign his post in Newbern before he can be sworn in as the general sessions judge. But, he said he understood that the county hoped that the new general sessions judge would be on the bench by Monday, Sept. 15.
He will fill the unexpired term of Tony Childress, who recently became chancellor for Dyer and Lake counties.
Hudson was one of six attorneys vying for the judgeship. Also seeking the job were: Hal Boyd, Jim Horner, Bill Jordan, Charles "Sam" Kelly Jr. and Steve Scofield.
While the candidates have been lobbying commissioners for weeks, each was given two to three minutes to address the county legislative body.
Boyd told commissioners that he obtained his law degree after leaving the military. He practiced law in Memphis before moving to Dyersburg nine years ago and lives here by choice.
Horner told commissioners that he has served as a city judge, as a district attorney and as a public defender. As the city judge, he said he developed a method of collecting fines and court costs that is, essentially, still in effect today. He urged commissioners not to worry about his age; he said he has the maturity and experience to do the job.
Hudson told commissioners that he has experience as an attorney and as a judge in all four aspects of the general sessions judge's job. These include juvenile cases, probate, civil cases and criminal cases. He said he has substituted for Childress in the past and has had an opportunity to see how the court works.
Jordan told commissioners he was born in Dyersburg and has been practicing law for 34 years - 29 of those in a solo practice. He said he's used to hard work and is an independent soul who doesn't owe any favors.
Kelly told commissioners that he's been in the trenches of civil and criminal general sessions cases and juvenile cases for nearly 15 years. As judge, he said he would not be swayed by anyone. "The scales of justice are equal and that's the way I have to see it," he said.
Scofield told commissioners that he earned his law degree at Vanderbilt University, spent a year working as a clerk in the Tennessee Court of Appeals and then came to Dyersburg. Here, he spent the first 15 years of his law career working for Barrett Ashley and the last 15 years in a solo practice. He said he has served as a juvenile referee and was, at one time, the Newbern city court judge.
Commissioners anticipated the possibility that they might have to vote more than one time before any single candidate won at least 11 votes. If no one received 11 votes in the first round, the two men who received the highest number of votes would proceed to the next round.
It took only one vote. Hudson secured 14 votes with Horner and Kelly tying with three votes each.
Voting for Hudson were: David Agee, Alan Burchfiel, John Flatt, Ralph Henson, Jimmy Hester, Milton Magee, Terry McCreight, Steve Moore, Thomas Reasons Jr., Kyle Reynolds, Bennie Spain, John Uitendaal, Steve Walker and Jimmy Wells.
Voting for Horner were: Bill Cloar, Connie Apple Evans and Adam Williams.
Voting for Kelly were: Debbie Bradshaw Hart, Larry Maupin and Al Seward.
In other business Monday night, the commission:
* Adopted the new flood maps and criteria established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for Dyer County and new flood-hazard district regulations for the Dyersburg Regional Zoning area outside of the city limits.
* Re-elected Milton Magee chairman and Alan Burchfiel vice chairman. They will serve one-year terms.
* Re-appointed Jimmy Wells, Adam Williams and Connie Evans to two-year terms on the Finley Ditch Committee.
* Appointed Robert "Cotton" Worley to the Board of Zoning Appeals for one year.
* Heard Dyersburg/Dyer County Chamber of Commerce updates on existing industry by Wendell West and regional development by Allen Hester.