Deputy District Attorney General Gary McKenzie, who supervises DeKalb, Cumberland, and White Counties, has announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for Criminal Judge Part I in the 13th Judicial District. The GOP primary is to be held on May 6, 2014.
The position is currently held by Democratic Judge Leon C. Burns, Jr. of Putnam County who has held the position since 1975. Burns has decided not to seek another term.
Born and raised in Meigs County Tennessee, McKenzie is the son of Freda McKenzie and the late Danny McKenzie. His father was a land surveyor. He married Amy in 1998 and they have 3 children. They attend Life Church in Cookeville.
McKenzie graduated from Tennessee Tech University in 1997 with a degree in Criminal Justice. He was named an All American Collegiate Scholar by the USAA. He was also awarded the Upper Cumberland Trial Lawyers Association Scholarship. Gary decided to move to Memphis and attend the Cecil C. Humphrey's School of Law at the University of Memphis. He graduated in 2000. He sat for and passed the Bar Exam that same year. Gary immediately went to work for the 13th Judicial District, District Attorney General's Office as an Assistant District Attorney.
In 2001 Gary was assigned to be the Lead Prosecutor for Cumberland County, the second largest county in the 13th Judicial District. Gary was the youngest attorney to be given this responsibility.
In 2004 Gary was selected to be the Special Meth Prosecutor, a position that was created in response to the Upper Cumberland region's serious problems with the drug Methamphetamine. Gary worked closely with the Drug Task Force and the State Attorney's Office. He also advised State legislators on the creation of laws to combat Methamphetamine.
In 2007 Gary was promoted to Deputy District Attorney General and supervises Cumberland, White, and DeKalb counties. He is Lead Prosecutor of all homicide and violent major crimes in these counties.
The district includes Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb, Overton, Pickett, Putnam, and White Counties.