The primary for Metro Nashville judicial elections is almost a year away but attorney Wendy Longmire got a jump on the competition Wednesday, filing paperwork necessary to officially start her campaign and snagging her first endorsement.
Retired Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman gave her endorsement of Longmire, who announced May 10 she is running for First Circuit Court judge. Bonnyman, who practiced law at Ortale Kelley with Longmire, said Longmire would be the first woman to serve in the First Circuit.
“As a former judge myself who is familiar with the personal qualities and skills that Wendy will bring to the job as judge, I know that Wendy will connect with all of diverse Nashville in a genuine way,” said Bonnyman, who called Longmire a “competent, energetic woman (who) is both fair and wise.”
Longmire began her legal career as a clerk for Davidson County Fifth Circuit Court Judge Walter Kurtz and joined Ortale Kelly in 1987, where she has specialized in complex civil litigation. She’s past president of Tennessee Lawyers Association for Women and volunteers with the Nashville Pro Bono Program, Nashville Conflict Resolution Center and the Nashville Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Committee, among other organizations. She is also a Rule 31 listed General Civil Mediator.
Longmire is the first candidate in the race for the First Circuit position, currently held by Judge Hamilton “Kip” Gayden. Gayden was appointed to the bench in 1978 and insiders presume he may not run again in 2022, opting for retirement.
Even if Gayden does retire, Longmire will likely not run without opposition in the Democratic primary. Some of the names being bandied about as potential candidates include former Mayor David Briley, buzz that began when Briley tweeted in March he would consider running if Gayden retires.
This is Longmire’s first run for political office. Tennessee county primaries are scheduled for May 3, 2022 and the general election for county-wide offices will be August 4.