My immediate family:
My family is extremely important to me. With their encouragement, I am running with confidence for the position as your criminal court judge. You can see my grandchildren’s support for me as we begin the campaign.
The loving influence my parents had on me is everlasting. I still hear my father say, “I am proud of you.” Or, I hear my mother say, “don’t run a restaurant like your father and me. Get an education, so you can be anything you want to be.” They are both still with me in spirit in everything I do. After I lost my parents, my husband’s parents stepped in and loved me like their own daughter. His father encouraged me and his energetic mother, Kate, at 90 helps me on a daily basis with everything from grocery shopping to advice on how to fix my hair.
My husband, Bob, wisely added to our wedding vows that we help each other, “to be the best that we can be.” Daily, he gives meaning to this promise, and I am ever appreciative. Bob is retired from industry as an engineer. As a second career, he pursued education and this past year retired from teaching high school math at Walker Valley. Four generations of my family show their support for me during a visit to the Fire Department in Sweetwater.
My extended family:
If my dogs, Rusty and Beauty, and my kitten, Cali could talk, they would vote for me as Best Mom. I am a pushover when it comes to animals. If a stray comes along, I want to adopt it. Our kitten is very charismatic and when she wondered into Bob’s classroom at Walker Valley, of course she came home with him. You may notice I am walking the dogs along the Ocoee River. Cali never tires of being the center of attention. My loving, supportive family and my happy, non-judgmental pets daily remind me that there is more to life than the challenges I face in the judicial system. Above all, my faith keeps me grounded.
Outside of work, my varied interests besides spending time with family include church, sailing, bike riding, traveling, and cooking. I am very blessed to live in East Tennessee close to all I love and cherish.
In fact, my niece and nephews consider me to be “the best cook in Tennessee.” I have not corrected them, and I am not asking you to VOTE on my cooking!
My husband loves to take me to faraway places with the strange sounding names. I would never find these on my own or even dare to go, would it not be for him. One such place is the Marin County Headlands in California. It is the best way to get a view of the Golden Gate Bridge that few know of.
When we travel together, as any smart husband will do, he makes me feel like a movie star – like this shot in Napa Valley.
My family background:
I grew up in a factory town. My grandparents (first generation immigrants) operated a restaurant, called the Sunshine that my parents took over after the passing of my grandmother. I started waiting tables at the age of 10 and continued to wait tables in high school and during college. This was my only source of income when in law school. I continued to run the business as a second job until my mother passed away in 1993, and I sold the business. Growing up in the restaurant business teaches you to work hard and deal with people from all walks of life. These skills served me well.
From our humble beginnings, I became a lawyer and my sister became a dentist, careers which require hard work and perseverance. Some candidates say that she or he is the only one who has ever run a business and therefore is the most qualified to be your judge. If that is true, then I am definitely qualified. I not only worked in the family restaurant but operated a partnership of rental cottages with my aunt and sister, and I owned my own law firm.
I am part of a military family. Bob is retired U.S. Army. I should say, we are retired Army. I say this because a husband and wife do this together even though only one, my husband, did the actual duty for over 28 years.
My father served in World War II on General MacArthur’s Staff in the South Pacific. My husband’s father served during WWII in Iceland at North Atlantic Headquarters. Other uncles served in Korea, the South Pacific, and Europe all during a time of fierce fighting. One uncle gave his life for our country on a bloody beach in the Solomon Islands. Another saw terrible action on the beaches of France during D-Day. We are proud of our family’s military heritage in both peace and war.
Yes, that is me in the picture – can you guess the time frame from the hair? I am the proud wife of a man in uniform.
I believe spiritual commitment and faith are integral to a balanced life. I am a certified lay minister in the United Methodist Church. Each year I attend the Holston Conference in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. This is a place, where our church leadership goes to receive training, to vote on key issues facing the church, and to become spiritually renewed. The large auditorium is located across the lake.
Across the lake from the auditorium stands a large cross, a beautiful sight on any night of the year.
The right to bear arms:
I believe in 2nd amendment rights. I grew up in a family where hunting and the right to bear arms was important. My relationship with law enforcement officers is important as well. I appreciate the training they do and the role played in the criminal justice system. To show support, I trained with a Sheriff’s Department and am qualified with a Glock.
– Elect Sandra Donaghy for Criminal Court Judge –