Andy Wright, attorney for the city of Lebanon and municipal judge for the city of Mt. Juliet, announced he will kick off his candidacy for Division II general sessions judge at the Wilson County Fair this week.
The election to fill the position currently held by retiring Judge Robert Hamilton will be Aug. 7, 2014.
Wright, a Mt. Juliet resident, has experience as a judge, prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, as well as law enforcement. He will be at the Wilson County Fair to talk with as many voters as possible about his background and qualifications to fill the vacant seat after Hamilton retires.
“I have personally spoken with Judge Hamilton on more than one occasion, and he has assured me each time that he is retiring,” Wright said. “Judge Hamilton has been an outstanding general sessions judge for the people of Wilson County for more than two decades.
“I humbly ask that the citizens of this great county vote for me to be their next Division II general sessions judge, so I may have the opportunity to continue along the path of Judge Hamilton’s exceptional service.”
Wright said he has dedicated his entire career to serving others and seeking this position is no different.
“I have aspired to be a judge for many years and have tailored my professional activities and education for that purpose,” Wright said. “Because of this, I can hit the ground running on my first day on the bench.”
A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration, Wright worked for the Metro Nashville Police Department from 1991-2002.
During his 11 years as a police officer, he received multiple honors and awards, as well as nine commendation letters for his work, including one each from Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Louie Freeh, Assistant Police Chief Deb Faulkner and Nashville District Attorney Torry Johnson – all regarding major drug investigations.
He was also awarded the Police Department Exemplary Service Award for Meritorious Actions, named the West Sector Patrol Division Officer of the Month, the Metro Police Department Officer of the Month, and Nashville Downtown Optimist Club Officer of the Year.
Wright was admitted to the Tennessee Bar Association in 2001 after receiving his law degree from the Nashville School of Law that same year. He worked as an associate attorney for Farrar & Bates, PLLC, in Nashville, before joining the law firm of Lowery, Lowery & Cherry in Lebanon.
In 2004, he was named the first full-time municipal attorney for Lebanon. Wright said part of his duties is to serve as the Lebanon city court prosecutor, “ensuring that Lebanon’s citizens are protected from those who disregard our local laws and ordinances, while at the same time ensuring those accused of alleged violations are treated with respect and given opportunities to correct actions before more punitive measures are taken against them.”
In 2009, Wright was named municipal judge for Mt. Juliet, where he continually strives to “enhance the community by protecting the citizens from unruly neighbors, traffic violators and from retailers who may provide beer to those under the legal drinking age.”
“Each of these four areas of life experience and career opportunities will in each one’s own way make me a better judge,” Wright said. “No other candidate can claim this diversified of a background, and no other candidate will bring these qualifications with them to this judgeship.”
In addition to his professional experience, Wright has been active in community and professional organizations. He has been a member of the Tennessee Municipal Attorneys Association since 2004, serving as president in 2009-10; a member of the Hearing Committee for the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility since 2011; a member of the Tennessee Municipal Judges Conference since 2009; a 2008 graduate of Leadership Wilson and a board member from 2008-11; a board member of the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce from 2009-12; a member of the Mt. Juliet-West Wilson Chamber of Commerce since 2012; a steering committee member for the Boys and Girls Club of Lebanon-Wilson County since 2012; and a member of the Lebanon Noon Rotary Club since 2013.
He has attended the National Judicial College in Reno, Nev., two times since 2010, taking classes in traffic issues in the 21st Century and decision making, and has also taken other courses of study offsite offered by the school.
“I believe a judge has three purposes: one, to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the state of Tennessee; two, to respectfully treat every person firmly, but fairly, and three, to better the community,” Wright said. “My life experience and the knowledge I have gained over the last 22 years as a police officer, an attorney and a judge, will allow me to accomplish all three purposes.
“My entire adult life has been focused on serving my communities and the citizens residing there. If you vote for me, you will allow me to continue along a path that I honestly believe God has laid before me.”
Wright and his wife, Jill, have two children, Drew, 11, and Abby, 8.
For more information, contact Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.