2nd challenger emerges for District Attorney General Clark

Becky Campbell • Aug 27, 2013 at 9:50 PM

Another attorney has stepped forward and confirmed he will challenge District Attorney General Tony Clark in the 2014 election.

Dan Smith, a retired Marine judge advocate and former U.S. Attorney, confirmed to the Press Tuesday he will seek the DA’s position.

“It’s my present intention to see the office of district attorney general,” he said.

“I’m sitting here as a concerned citizen and I think it’s time for a new direction and new leadership in the office. That’s as general as I want to be at this point,” he said.

“I’ve got several people — exploratory is the best way to describe it — on the ground in all four counties trying to assess the situation. Right now my intention is to pick up the petition as early as I can.”

Smith, 66, began his private practice in Jonesborough in 2007 after his federal career, most of which took place in Louisiana, Texas and eventually Knoxville.

Smith applied earlier this year for two judicial slots — the new General Sessions judgeship and the Criminal Court position vacated by Judge Lynn Brown, who retired in March.

He withdrew from the sessions selection process and was not selected for the Criminal Court judgeship.

Smith is no stranger to the courtroom.

As a federal prosecutor, he handled general crimes against the United States in Louisiana and Texas before taking a position with the Eastern District of Tennessee in 1993 where he served as the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force prosecutor until he retired in 2006.

According to his application for the judicial position, he prosecuted over 1,000 defendants and handled over 100 jury trials in during that time.

Smith’s current law practice consists of 90 percent criminal defense and 10 percent divorce proceedings, he said.

Attorney Jerome Cochran, of Elizabethton, has also said he will challenge Clark.

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