Jennifer King’s tenure as chancellor over the 24th Judicial District was short lived.
Less than two weeks after being appointed by Governor Bill Lee, King has resigned from the position.
In a telephone interview Monday, King cited recent action taken by the Republican Parties of the five counties in the district as her reason for resigning.
King was appointed after former chancellor Judge Carma McGee was bumped up to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, and King would have had to run in 2020 in order serve out the rest of McGee’s term, which ends in 2022.
As King pointed out, the Republican Parties of Carroll, Benton, Decatur, Hardin, and Henry Counties all voted back in June to hold primaries for the position in 2020.
But shortly after King was appointed, all five county GOPs reconvened, rescinded their vote for a primary, and voted instead to have a caucus, in which party delegates, rather than district residents, would get to choose the party’s candidate for chancellor in 2020.
“Ultimately, the Carroll County Republican Party was pushed to go along with a caucus,” said King, adding that J. Brent Bradburry, who was among those who applied for the position of chancellor and did not get the job, was also among those who voted to opt for a caucus instead of a primary in Carroll County.
“I do not believe the process was fair to me or to the voters of this district,” said King. “I think the people of the 24th Judicial District should have their say by being allowed to vote in a primary in 2020.”
King said she wants to know why the parties of each county suddenly reversed their earlier decision to have a primary and why the state Republican Party pushed for that reversal.
“Why did it need to be changed?” asked King, who added that she suspects that the county parties may have violated their own bylaws in taking this action.
King says she has already returned to practicing law with her husband, Dusty King, at King & King, PLC in Jackson.
“I will continue, my husband and I, representing families across West Tennessee,” she said.
A new district chancellor had not been named as of press time Monday.