published Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Dunlap incumbents face no challengers

  • Last day to register to vote: April 6

  • Early voting: April 27 through May 2

  • Early voting location: Election Commission Office on Spring Street

  • Early voting hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CDT weekdays; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. CDT on Saturdays

  • Election day: May 7

  • Election day hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT

  • Election day location: Dunlap City Hall on Rankin Avenue

Source: Sequatchie County Elections Office

Upcoming city elections in Dunlap, Tenn., drew only the two incumbents holding the open seats on the City Commission, officials said.

Administrator of Elections Linda Pittman Tate said one-term incumbent Jeff Johnson and longtime City Commissioner Dan Barker were the only candidates to file petitions for the May 7 ballot.

Tate said she wasn’t sure why the posts drew so little interest but “the mayor’s not running; and I would imagine that’s the reason.”

“Normally when the mayor runs we usually have a really good turnout,” she said.

One woman picked up qualifying papers but didn’t file them, she said. Tate said the same lack of interest has cropped up before on the two seats when they’re uncontested.

“We still encourage everybody to get out and vote,” she said.

The cost of the election will be about $2,500 to cover expenses for ballot printing, machine technicians and advertising, she said. An abbreviated early voting period — because the races are uncontested — will ease costs, too, she said.

Johnson, who was first elected to the commission four years ago at age 35, said the lack of opposition is good for him, though “I anticipated some competition.”

Johnson said he hoped that means “we’ve done a good job. That’s what I would like to believe.”

Barker, who has served almost 21 years on the commission, said some election cycles just don’t generate interest.

The last time the ballot didn’t draw opposition “was about two terms back, I’m guessing,” Barker said. “But there was five or six running last time.”

The 2007 two-post election in which Johnson was first elected and Barker netted his fourth term attracted six candidates and more than 1,200 voters to the polls, records show.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at 423-757-6569 or

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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