Davidson County DA General Will Not Seek Re-Election
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Davidson County District Attorney General Torry Johnson said he will not seek re-election, but he is not retiring. He has also endorsed Assistant District Attorney General Rob McGuire as a his successor.
Victor S. "Torry" Johnson III told his staff Wednesday that he would end his 26-year run as the city's top prosecutor.
On Thursday, the attorney general spoke out about his decision, thanking all of the people he had worked with over the years.
Johnson also said he plans to explore other opportunities, but did not indicate any immediate plans.
"I don't look at this as a retirement, but rather a redirection. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do in the future," said Johnson. "I want to stay involved in the general sense of prosecution and criminal justice. Those are things that are near and dear to my heart."
He added that "it's good to go out when it's my decision."
McGuire also spoke Thursday, saying he appreciated Johnson's endorsement and making a plea for support in his bid for the job.
"I will pledge to you to be as fair, as honest, as capable, and as diligent as Torry Johnson has been. And I will commit myself as he did to justice for all citizens of this city," McGuire said.
Johnson, a Vanderbilt University Law School graduate, was first appointed to the position in 1987 by Governor Ned McWherter. He was re-elected for the 8-year term three more times.
Johnson has held the position for 26 years, and his current term will end in August 2014.
Johnson supervises a staff of about 125, including 60 assistant district attorneys. He earned his law degree from Vanderbilt University and served both in the district attorney's office and in private practice before his appointment to the top job.
Mayor Karl Dean issued a statement Wednesday:
"I've worked with Torry at every level of our careers — first in the 1980s when he was a team leader for the district attorney's office and I was team leader at the Public Defender's Office and, then, when he was district attorney and I was public defender," Dean said in a prepared statement. "Torry has served as district attorney with the utmost integrity and professionalism. In his 26 years there, he has been a champion for victims' rights, appreciating the importance of specialized prosecutions, such as child abuse and domestic violence. He has led with a fair and steady hand, and the city of Nashville owes him a debt of gratitude."
(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)