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It appears that Mike Pemberton will be the next 9th Judicial District circuit court judge.
According to unofficial returns in four counties, Pemberton pulled off the win by a scant 144 votes.
“We did it,” Pemberton told his supporters gathered at Jake's Tavern and Grill. “We did it the right way, and at least in this four-county race, you can do it the right way and you can be successful.”
The final numbers were 12,603 Pemberton to 12,459 McFarland.
Pemberton's strongest support was in Roane County, 5,830 to 4,899.
“Roane County is the county that knows us both the best, and so Roane County was in the best position, I think, of all the counties to assess the issues and cut through all the clutter,” Pemberton said.
Morgan County final numbers were 2,468 for McFarland and 2,380 for Pemberton.
In Meigs, McFarland had 1,104 to Pemberton's 876.
In Loudon, the numbers were 3,988 for McFarland and 3,517 for Pemberton.
Pemberton said McFarland called him late Thursday night.
“It was very gracious,” Pemberton said of the call. “He wished me the best, told me I ran a good race. I told him the same thing. He said he hoped to appear in my court sometime and I said I'd look forward to it.”