6 apply for upcoming Tennessee attorney general vacancy

July 30, 2022 GMT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Six people have applied to replace Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery, who won’t be seeking another term.

The Tennessee Supreme Court announced that Don Cochran, Jerome Cochran, Michael Dunavant, R. Culver Schmid, Jonathan Skrmetti and Bill Young submitted applications for the opening by Friday’s deadline.

Don Cochran served as the U.S. attorney in the Middle District of Tennessee based in Nashville from 2017 until 2021. He was appointed by former President Donald Trump. He is now a law professor at Belmont University.

Jerome Cochran is as an administrative law judge and previously served as a two-term Republican state House representative, elected to his first two-year term in 2002.

Michael Dunavant served as the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee based in Memphis from 2017 to 2021. He was appointed by Trump. Dunavant currently is the chief investigative counsel for the Tennessee comptroller’s office in Nashville.


Schmid is an attorney working as the Knoxville office managing shareholder for the firm Baker Donelson.

Skrmetti served as chief deputy attorney general in Slatery’s office from 2018 until 2021 before joining Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s administration in December 2021 as his general counsel.

Young is the executive director of the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance. He previously served as a chancery court judge in Nashville and director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, and filled multiple roles in the attorney general’s office.

Tennessee is the only state in which the attorney general is appointed by the Supreme Court. The position runs in eight-year terms. The new term begins Sept. 1.

The court’s justices selected Slatery in 2014 after he previously served as former Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s chief legal counsel. Slatery announced in May that he would not seek another term.

Interviews will be held on Aug. 8 and 9 at the Tennessee Supreme Court building in Nashville. They will also be livestreamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/TNCourts/featured.