Adam Dread insists flatly that he's not running for general sessions judge in order to pursue a TV show.
But since he's already shot a reality courtroom pilot for Fox called — we're not making this up — "Judge Dread," he tells Pith that he could do them both at the same time.
"Because of the way that would be shot, we could do five shows a day for a week," Dread said. "We could shoot a season in a week or two. It wouldn't interfere with me being an actual working judge."
About that real judgeship … Dread has hired former Davidson County Democratic Party chair Krissa Barclay to run his campaign for an open general sessions slot, probably retiring judge Sue McKnight Evans' spot. He can't do anything until he pulls papers on Nov. 7. The next filing date is in February for an August primary in a little under a year.
"It's actually something that's been in the back of my mind for several years," he said. "Timing wise, I've got about 10 years left as a lawyer and I've spent a lot of time in the general sessions court."
And he's won a few elections, too. Counting runoffs, he's won five countywide races before, serving as an at-large councilman. And while Mike Jameson lost his bid to go from council to bench (although he did serve briefly in an appointed capacity before losing to Rachel Bell in a primary), Dread says that his wider exposure will help him.
"The difference between Mike and I is that Mike was a district councilman and I was an at-large, countywide. I've run in all 35 districts, he had run in one," he said. "I know folks from all over town as opposed to one specific district. So it does give me a lot of exposure, but that exposure is a double-edged sword. There's still some people mad at me. The taxi drivers still hate me because of the taxi law ordering them to take the routes that passengers tell them to take. They're furious still at me. They still glare at me."
Does he take cabs in this town?
"I rarely, rarely do. I certainly can't call for one and use my name. They have told me that they will not come get me," Dread said laughing, but not kidding.
Fox ultimately sat on the People's Court-ish pilot for a year and then didn't pick up the option on it. The glut of judge shows, and their downturn in the ratings, was more of a factor than his lack of bench time, Dread said.
"Actually, Fox was impressed enough without me being a sitting judge. They looked at my background on the council and the beer board and they were fine with that," he said. "It wouldn't hurt, that's for sure. Certainly, I'm not running for judge to pursue the TV thing. It's almost more of the opposite. I probably would have used the TV thing more to be a full-time judge."
Now, Pith doesn't want to comment on whether or not Dread would make a decent judge (well, at least not today), but it would all be worth it if he walked down the middle of James Robertson Parkway with a helmet on and yelled, "I AM THE LAW."