Republican challenger Craig Northcott upset three-term District Attorney Mickey Layne Thursday night in arguably the biggest surprise of this year’s Coffee County General Election.
Northcott picked up 5,482 votes to Layne’s 4,650. The percentage difference comes to 54.07 percent for Northcott and 45.86 percent for Layne. “I want to thank all of my supporters and all of those who have helped with this campaign and, of course, all the voters who voted for me,” said Northcott, who will begin an eight year term Sept. 2. “I couldn’t have done this without them. I look forward to getting busy and getting to work serving this community.” Northcott’s win unseats Layne, who had previously been elected three times for a total of 24 years in office. “I appreciate the opportunity to have served the people for almost 25 years,” said Layne, who was originally appointed by former Governor Ned McWherter for five months before being elected to his first term. “We have accomplished a lot. I leave here knowing that we have done a good job for the people. There is a degree of sadness because obviously I wanted to win.” Layne plans to retire from the legal community. “I’ll now have the opportunity to do whatever I want to do. I won’t have to rush into work every morning like I have for almost 40 years. I will be free of a lot of stress that goes with this job. I am certainly thankful for what the voters have done for me in the past and I know we have done a good job for them. I plan to retire to Asbury Road and have some freedom and have a life with less stress. I’ve worked all of my life but I have high hopes that I can enjoy the freedom that I have to come and go and do whatever I please.” Northcott said he plans to start the transition process immediately and hopes to meet with everyone in the office before Sept. 2.
“We will start working on that transition immediately,” explained Northcott. “I hope to meet with most, if not everyone over the next three weeks and speak with them. I’m sure Mickey will do what he can to help me with that transition.”