Trump picks DA Dunavant as U.S. Attorney General for West TN

Michael Dunavant, who has been a state district attorney since 2006, has been nominated by President Donald Trump as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee

Dunavant, of Covingon, now serves as DA for Tennessee’s 25th Judicial District,  which covers Fayette, Hardeman, Lauderdale, McNairy and Tipton counties.

Some info on Dunavant from a Jackson Sun report in 2014, when he was running for a new eight-year term as DA (he won with 20,931 votes to 10,748 for challenger D.J. Norton of McNairy County):

Dunavant, 43, and his wife, Marianne, have an 11-year-old son named Hutch. Dunavant got his bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and his law degree from the University of Mississippi.

He has been practicing law for the past 19 years, 11 as a criminal defense attorney and the past eight as the 25th District’s district attorney. Dunavant said he has learned a lot in his eight years as DA.

“In the last eight years, criminal activity has continued to change and evolve, and we as prosecutors need to change and evolve with it,” Dunavant said.

“I’m running for re-election because I care about public safety,” he said. “I believe I’m the best person to move forward to aggressively hold criminal conduct accountable.”

Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander issued statements lauding Dunavant’s nomination, which must be confirmed by the  U.S. Senate.

Corker:  “I could not be more pleased with President Trump’s decision to nominate Michael Dunavant to serve Tennesseans as U.S. Attorney for the Western District,” said Corker. “Throughout his career, including in his current role as district attorney general, Mike has distinguished himself in the West Tennessee legal community and shown great commitment to promoting public safety and enforcing the law. I congratulate Mike on being nominated for this important position and look forward to meeting with him as he begins the confirmation process.”

Alexander: “I join Senator Corker in recommending Mr. Dunavant because he is a well-qualified and dedicated prosecutor who will serve West Tennesseans with integrity. I look forward to introducing him to members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and I hope the Senate will quickly consider his nomination.”

For a national perspective, there’s a Politico story on Trump’s appointments beginning thusly:

About three months after President Donald Trump abruptly fired about half of the nation’s U.S. attorneys, the White House has formally announced replacements for some of the vacancies he created.

Trump has settled on individuals to take eight of the 93 chief federal prosecutor slots, the White House said in a statement Monday evening detailing his “first wave” of U.S. attorney nominees.

Under a Senate procedure known as the “blue slip,” home-state senators usually have an effective veto over U.S. attorney nominees and judges. As a result, the White House does not typically nominate individuals for those posts without the advance buy-in of the relevant senators.

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