The Montgomery County Commission named Sharon T. Massey Grimes to fill the remaining term of her late husband, Judge Raymond Grimes, as general sessions and juvenile court judge.
Raymond Grimes died Nov. 26 after he was hospitalized with COVID-19 for several days. He was 73.
On Jan. 11, Commissioner John Gannon nominated the five people who had applied for the vacant seat. They included Massey Grimes, Samuel Knolton Jr., Eric Yow, Merriel Bullock Neal and Dennis Stanford.
Each nominee was allotted five minutes to address the commission.
“This is a difficult and bittersweet day for me,” Massey Grimes said. “I looked up to him, not only as a husband, but as my best friend.”
After thanking the couple’s five children who were present at the meeting, Massey Grimes thanked the community, friends and family for their support during the trying time since her husband’s death.
“Through your love and support, the darkness of the last two months is beginning to dissipate, and I have renewed hope for the future,” Massey Grimes said. “While I promise to carry on his legacy with his application of the law that was a hallmark of Judge Grimes, I also stand on my own qualifications and my own merit.”
Massey Grimes said the practice of law has been her passion for more than 23 years.
“I am in a unique position to have witnessed firsthand the positivity of change for our community for the treatment, consequences, care and tough love that Judge Grimes dispensed in his 22 years as a judge,” Massey Grimes said. “I want to see that passion continued in this court and improve upon what I have learned and what I have witnessed.”
Massey Grimes, an attorney in Clarksville, received her law degree from the Nashville School of Law in 1998.
A decade prior, she received her bachelor’s degree in social work at Austin Peay State University.
Since 1998, Massey Grimes worked from her law office, the Sharon T. Massey Attorney at Law office on S. Third Street in Clarksville.
Eleven votes from county commissioners were needed for the five candidates who were nominated.
After his five-minute speech, Yow withdrew his name from the running, following a passionate tribute to the late Judge Grimes.
Massey Grimes received 14 votes from the 20 commissioners present at the meeting.
Neal received five votes from commissioners Rashidah Leverett, Tangi Smith, Carmella Chandler, Lisa Prichard and Walker Woodruff.
Commissioner Joshua Beal voted in favor of Knolton. Commissioner Brandon Butts was absent.