Attorney Gary Starnes filed qualifying papers Wednesday at the Election Commission, and formally announced his candidacy for General Sessions Court judge of Hamilton County, previously held by Judge Bob Moon.
Attorney Starnes grew up in Hamilton County. He graduated from Lookout Valley High School in 1977, and earned a B.S. degree in education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 1981. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Carol Starnes, for 30 years.
They have three adult children, Lesley, Christina and Bryan Starnes. Their youngest, Bryan, is a senior at Baylor School and president of the student body. They have one grandchild, 18-month-old Avery Garrett Evans.
The Starnes family has lived on Signal Mountain for 16 years, and are members of the Stuart Heights Baptist Church in Hixson.
Attorney Starnes obtained his law degree from the University of Tennessee in 1986, and is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and Georgia. He was with the law firm of Spears, Moore, Rebman, & Williams for six years. In August, 1993, Mr. Starnes started his law firm in Chattanooga, and he handles complex civil cases in all state and federal courts in Tennessee and Georgia. Mr. Starnes has been involved in numerous jury and non-jury trials in Tennessee and Georgia as well as other states. Mr. Starnes is also a Rule 31 Listed General Civil Mediator and Arbitrator in Tennessee and Registered General Civil Mediator & Arbitrator in Georgia.
Mr. Starnes frequently serves as a special judge in the Chattanooga City Courts for Judge Russell Bean and Judge Sherry Paty. Attorney Starnes has served as special judge in the Hamilton County General Sessions Court, the elected office he now seeks.
Attorney Starnes said he is committed to his community, and served as a board member at the local American Red Cross for three years where he was chairman of the audit committee. He participates annually in several community programs at Christmas one of which involves delivering presents to needy families on Christmas Eve. The Starnes family has actively supported the Children’s Advocacy Center, Chambliss Children’s Home, and the Shepherd’s Arms Rescue Mission.
The Starnes family has as a law career history. Attorney Starnes’ father is a retired captain of the local Tennessee Highway Patrol. His brother, Robert Starnes, is a lieutenant with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department.