Hamilton County Democrats will pick their nominee Saturday for the Aug. 7 election for sheriff, while local GOP members will wait until March 27 to select their sheriff nominee.
“It’s a two-step process,” Hamilton County Republican Party Chairwoman Connie Weathers said of her party’s nominee selection.
The county GOP will hold a precinct convention March 17 and a county convention 10 days later.
Ms. Weathers said all Republicans are encouraged to come to the precinct convention. At the convention, attendees will select one delegate for every 200 votes cast for George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election.
“Those elected as delegates at the precinct convention will nominate the party’s candidate for sheriff (at the county convention),” Ms. Weathers said.
She said four candidates have filed paperwork to seek the GOP nomination: Chattanooga police Lt. Tim Carroll; state Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge; Hamilton County Chief Ranger Fred Fuson; and former sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jim Hammond.
Rep. Dean said he would have to resign his seat in the General Assembly if nominated for sheriff. He said he would be fine with doing that.
“It’s up to (the party),” Rep. Dean said. “If they nominate me, I’d naturally run for sheriff.”
On the Democratic side, County Commissioner Greg Beck and former Hamilton County medical examiner’s office Investigator Jim Winters are seeking the nomination.
At the Democratic caucus, the party’s executive committee, which consists of about 120 district chairmen, precinct captains and precinct co-captains, will vote to determine the nominee, said John Bailes, chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party.
Before the vote, members of the committee will be able to ask questions of the two candidates, he said.
The questioning portion will be open to the public, but the committee will deliberate and vote in private, Mr. Bailes said.
Both parties will select their nominees because the county’s primary already had passed when former Sheriff Billy Long resigned on Feb. 6.
All candidates for sheriff must turn in qualifying papers with the Hamilton County Election Commission by April 3. Candidates also must turn in confirmation of a psychological evaluation and a signed affidavit listing sheriff qualifications by March 20.
IF YOU GO
Democratic Party caucus
* When: Friday at 8:30 a.m.
* Where: Tropicana Room, Chattanooga Billiards Club East
Republican Party conventions
* When: Monday and March 27, 7 p.m.
* Where: East Ridge Community Center