District Attorney Bill Gibbons, a Republican and the target of an organized effort by Democratic nominees for countywide office who objected to his planned attendance at the Democrats' annual Kennedy Day dinner Monday night, confirmed by a formal statement Monday that he would not be attending the event.
Said Gibbons: "I purchased a ticket to the Kennedy Day Dinner held by the Democratic party for two reasons. First, as district attorney, I am the public's lawyer. I consider it part of my job to be present throughout the community in order to listen to people's concerns. Second, many key Democrats who support my re-election had urged me to attend.
"As district attorney, I represent all of the people. In my re-election campaign, I intend to seek the support of all citizens, regardless of party. Our community would be much stronger and less divisive if more candidates for office went the extra mile to reach across party lines. I have always done that and will continue to do so.
"Based on the recommendations of many of my Democratic supporters, I have decided not to attend the dinner tonight."
The attorney general's statement was accompanied by a lengthy list of individuals Gibbons deescribed as his Democratic supporter.
The Flyer will provide a follow-up report lboth on the controversy and on the dinner itself, which features a keynote address by Governor Phil Bredesen.
UPDATE: Deidre Malone declares for County Mayor at Chism picnic.