published Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Dunlap voters to choose mayor, commissioners, judge Saturday

POLL HOURS

The poll at the Dunlap City Hall training center for Saturday's city elections will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT.

Four of the elected officials in Dunlap, Tenn., are running for second terms Saturday, elections officials said.

First-term Mayor Dwain Land will be unopposed in his bid for re-election, while City Commissioners Judy Layne and Jeff Harmon will vie with political newcomer Andy Long, Administrator of Elections Linda Tate said Thursday.

"It's been a real quiet election. We have one race that is a contest," Tate said of the three-way at-large race for two City Commission seats.

City Judge M. Keith Davis, who is unopposed, will run for his second eight-year term on the town's bench, Tate said.

Deputy Administrator of Elections Jerrie Hickey said early voting totals seemed low.

"We had a total of 181 early votes, plus three absentees," Hickey said.

Those numbers reflect a quiet election, largely because the mayor's post is uncontested, Tate said.

"It's about average for this kind of election," she said.

Tate said election day turnout, with showers in the forecast, could be slow but should be steady.

In 2009, Land defeated challenging former City Commissioners Jennifer Lockhart Greer and Rachel Hixson in a three-way contest for mayor. Harmon and Layne netted the most votes in a six-way race against David B. Barker Jr., Raymond L. Farley, Carol Gaddy and Charli Wyatt for the two seats vacated by Greer and Hixson when they sought the mayor's seat.

Tate said voter interest was high in 2009 when Land, Hixson and Greer faced off in the race to become Dunlap's first new mayor in 16 years, following four-term mayor George Wagner's retirement at age 75. Wagner also had served as mayor for 12 years during the 1970s and 1980s.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Subscribe to his Facebook posts at facebook.com/ben.benton1 and follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/BenBenton.

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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