By Ginny LaRoe Staff Writer
Hamilton County Sheriff John Cupp is expected to seek re-election to a fourth term, longtime supporter Mike Walden said Friday.
Sheriff Cupp said he made a decision "a long time ago," but would not announce it publicly.
"We'll wait until after the first of the year and see what happens,"
Sheriff Cupp said Friday.
Mr. Walden said Sheriff Cupp, 74, likely will pick up qualifying papers from the county Election Commission office Wednesday.
"Now that I expect him to announce Jan. 4 that he will run, I think that's great," said the president and CEO of Chattanooga-based Walden Security.
Mr. Walden, who was the sheriff 's campaign manager in 2002, said he will play some role in the 2006 campaign.
"I'll be glad to help the sheriff any way I can in his campaign," he said.
Four candidates have qualified to run in the primary, and two others have picked up qualifying papers, Election Commission records show.
Andy Derryberry and Dave Alverson will run as Republicans, and Anthony W. Chatman and Billy H. Long will run as Democrats, records show.
Jim Swafford and Henry DeArman, who both indicated they would run as Democrats, have not turned in their qualifying papers.
The candidates have until Feb. 16 to file their petitions to run in the May 2 primary. The county's general election is Aug. 3.
Sheriff Cupp, a Republican, first was elected to the post in 1994. He draws a yearly salary of $101,202, according to Hamilton County Auditor Bill McGriff.
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Candidates have until Feb. 16 to file paperwork that would make them eligible for the Hamilton County sheriff's race primary elections on May 2. The county's general election is Aug. 3.