Jim Kyle, the long-serving Memphis state Senator who for several years has served as leader off the shrinking band of Democrats in the Tennessee state Senate, announced Thursday his intention to pull petition papers to run for the Chancery Court Part Two seat in Shelby County.
The seat is open, due to Governor Bill Haslam’s appointment of incumbent Chancellor Arnold Goldin to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, Western Section, effective September 1.
That service would not have precluded his continuing as a state Senator, but Kyle said last year, when he applied as a candidate for a Probate Court vacancy, that he would resign from the Senate if chosen. But that bid, too, was turned away by the margin of one vote on the Shelby County Commission.
The senator, who has numerous contacts in both the political and legal world, is expected to be a formidable candidate for the Chancery seat this year. A founding partner of the Memphis law firm Domidco Kyle, he was first elected to the state Senate in 1983 and became leader of Senate Democrats in 2005.
Promising in a news release to be a “fair judge who will work hard to ensure that our citizens get their day in court,” Kyle said, “As a senior I have had the opportunity to be truly engaged in the process of making the very laws that I will interpret and apply in the courtroom as chancellor.”