Sandra Donaghy flashed a big smile the first time she was called “Your Honor” Thursday night.
After 22 years of practicing criminal law in front of the bench, Donaghy will now be the one with the robes and the gavel as she administers justice as the new 10th District Criminal Court judge.
“I’m excited,” she said as she thought of the major victory over incumbent Judge Amy Armstrong Reedy.
In Bradley County, Donaghy almost doubled Reedy’s vote count scoring 8,379 (65.82 percent) to Reedy’s 4,347 (34.15 percent).
The new judge posted almost the same numbers in McMinn County with 4,744 (61.04 percent) to Reedy’s 3,028 (38.96 percent).
Monroe County almost quadrupled her margin of victory there with 2,715 (54.18 percent) over the incumbent’s 728 (14.52 percent).
“I have to thank all those in Bradley, Monroe, McMinn and Polk counties for their support and for all those who worked so hard for this moment,” Donaghy said.
She said it was a challenge to run a campaign through four counties, but found the experience a “rewarding one.”
“I have had a chance to speak with Judge Reedy and believe we will have a smooth transition during the weeks ahead,” Donaghy said.
State Rep.-elect Dan Howell praised his opponent in the 22nd District race Thursday night.
Howell will now take the seat in the state Legislature currently held by Bradley County Sheriff-elect Eric Watson.
“First, I want to commend Adam Lowe for his courage to throw his hat in to serve the public,” Howell said.
Howell won handily over Lowe, who is currently vice chairman of the Bradley County Commission.
Lowe lost the 22nd District vote by approximately 13 percent. Howell collected 4,599 votes to Lowe’s 3,583 votes.
Howell will represent a portion of Bradley County, and all of Meigs and Polk counties.
In Bradley County, Howell took 2,719 votes to Lowe’s 2,017.
Howell outpaced Lowe in Meigs County by 943 to 531.
“I would like to first thank my wife and family for their tremendous support, and a great team of people. We planned our work and we worked our plan,” Howell explained.
“I also want to thank the voters of Bradley, Polk and Meigs for their support,” he added.
Lowe said on his Facebook page he had congratulated Howell on his win.
He thanked those who worked on his campaign, calling them “the salt of the earth.”
“Thank you for your bravery and dedication,” he wrote. “May your voice resonate in the coming years, and may our leaders be granted wisdom. God bless!”