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I could not agree more with Ms. Jenkins statement of support for Judge Norton. I have the privilege of seeing David each week as he comes into worship at Dallas Bay Baptist Church. It is a tribute to his character and grace that we even know as much about his physical setback and future treatment that we do.
It was his loyalty to his supporters and his sense of responsibility to the people of Hamilton County that led him to state that his personal campaign activities would need to be reduced and that it would be entirely up to the voters to express their trust concerning his continued service as Sessions judge.
It is rare to see such a selfless attitude in one who must rely on the public vote in order to retain a position he loves so much. I am even more proud that I voted early for Judge David Norton and I know that you will as well if you support him on Aug. 2.
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With all due respect to Ms. Jenkins and Mr. McNabb, what each of you has written is very misleading.
Ms. Jenkins, you attempt to downplay the reality of David Norton's illness and absences. In an interview with the Chattanooga Times Free Press on July 27, Norton admitted that his illness, which you claim is a "minor setback," has already caused him to be "off the bench for all or part of the day at least 30 times" since being appointed. That number does not include days in which an already elected judge sat for him, as those days are not recorded.
On top of missing well over 30 days on the bench, Norton has said “If elected, I will not be able to serve immediately." That doesn't sound "capable of serving" to me.
The salary of a Sessions Court judge is paid for by the taxpayers of Hamilton County. Since March 6, the day his appointment, we the people of Hamilton County have essentially been paying David Norton to sit at home and we will continue to do so if he is elected.
His illness is incredibly unfortunate and I wish him the best, but he still has a duty to serve the citizens of Hamilton County.
Mr. McNabb, you say Norton's decision to remain in this race is some sort of "selfless" act. I absolutely do not question the man's character, but this condition is clearly interfering with his judicial duties and his refusal to step aside is not what I would describe as "selfless."
News Channel 3 recently revealed on Friday that Norton has been "resting with family" in North Carolina. It's incredibly strange to hear that a candidate - instead of attempting to do some minor campaigning - is on a vacation in the final week of an election, wouldn't you two agree?
This much is clear - as nice and good of a person as he may be, David Norton is not capable of serving the public.
There are six other candidates in this General Sessions Court race who have been working tirelessly over the past few months and have proven themselves to be capable public servants.
I encourage the public to vote for Joe DeGaetano, Valerie Epstein, Yolanda Mitchell, Ron Powers, Gary Starnes, or Patricia Best Vital this Thursday, Aug. 2.
Pamela W. Burdette
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Experience matters, and it’s clear that only one Sessions Court judge candidate has significant criminal and civil law experience – Judge David Norton.
Judge Norton was Soddy Daisy judge for 27 years, presiding over the same type of criminal cases that come before Sessions Court, and worked with the same prosecutors and defense attorneys.
In addition to his vast criminal law experience, Judge Norton served as assistant county attorney for 28 years, representing Hamilton County in many civil litigation matters.
Judge Norton’s experience in both criminal and civil law stands well above the other candidates. There are more than 40,000 criminal cases in Sessions Court each year. It’s imperative to have someone with criminal law experience. Some of the other candidates have never handled a criminal law case or have not done so in several years.
It’s because of his experience and judicial temperament that Judge Norton was appointed earlier this year for the vacancy left by Judge Moon. Judge Norton deserves our vote.