published Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

2 to vie for Grundy County Commission seat

  • July 3: Last day to register to vote

• July 13: First day of early voting

• July 28: Last day of early voting

• Aug. 2: Election Day

Source: Grundy County Election Commission

The Grundy County Commission's District 3 race has drawn a pair of candidates to the August ballot, but the appointed seat holder will not be in the race.

Democrat Emily Partin and Republican Ted Smith were chosen in party caucuses, Elections Administrator Donna Basham said Monday.

Basham said no petitions were filed by Friday's noon deadline for an independent slot on the ballot. The deadline for write-in candidates is noon Wednesday.

"It's just a two-way race now," Basham said.

Interim Commissioner Don Hutcheson, 57, appointed in May after former County Commission Chairman Earl Geary Jr. stepped down, is not running.

Geary cited in his resignation letter "many reasons I have come to this decision including I find myself without the passion I once had to come to the task at hand."

Geary said his work schedule was taking time he felt he should be devoting to the county.

Lifelong Grundy County resident Hutcheson, a Democrat and the county's EMS director since 1990, said after his appointment that he wanted to try to hold the seat in the August race.

But he didn't gain the party's nomination when it caucused in June.

Hutcheson said Monday that he'll throw his support behind Partin for the post but he might consider running for the seat when it comes up again in two years. He noted that Partin also was named as a potential County Commission appointee in May.

Basham said Hutcheson falls under a recently modified law that prevents him from entering the race as an independent because he received some votes during the Democrats' caucus when Partin got the nod, Basham said.

The law once did not apply to counties the size of Grundy, Basham said.

The candidate elected in the general election on Aug. 2 will serve from Sept. 1 through the seat's term end on Sept. 1, 2014, election officials said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at 423-757-6569 or Subscribe to his Facebook posts at or follow him on Twitter at

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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