By the time Thursday's filing deadline passes, the race to replace Torry Johnson as Nashville's district attorney will have at least one more candidate.
Diane Lance, a former assistant district attorney who currently serves a special assistant in Mayor Karl Dean's office, confirms to Pith this morning that she has pulled qualifying papers to run for the office, and plans to submit them by tomorrow's noon deadline.
"I really spent some time thinking since Torry Johnson's announcement about the position, and what I could bring to it," Lance says. "And I really feel, after reflection, that I bring a broad base of experience to that job."
Lance served in the DA's office for five years in the 1990s, with a case load mostly focused on crimes against children. After about 10 years working from home, and volunteering with nonprofits that work with crime victims, Lance was appointed by Dean as a special assistant in 2009.
While she was still a prosecutor in the DA's office, Lance was herself a victim of a violent crime. Her attacker was charged with aggravated assault, and he eventually plead down to assault. Having spent years on the other side of the judicial system, Lance says it was, among other things, a learning experience.
"That really opened my eyes to what it's like for victims," she says.
Lance joins the race already somewhat in progress. In January, Johnson announced that he would not be seeking re-election after 26 years in the office. He endorsed ADA Rob McGuire as his successor, and McGuire immediately revealed a long list of known Metro political figures supporting his candidacy. Also in the race is Glen Funk, the defense attorney most known for defending Nashville rapper Young Buck. Funk announced last week that he had put $100,000 of his own money into the race.
Early voting for the May 6 Democratic primary begins on April 16, now less than two months away.