published Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Sheriff, Circuit Court clerk look like hottest Roane County races

Races for sheriff and Circuit Court clerk are shaping up to be among the hottest countywide contests in Roane County, Tenn., as the deadline to qualify for the Aug. 7 general election approaches.

But several races are uncontested thus far, records show, including the offices of trustee, county clerk, county attorney and the two General Sessions Court judges' posts. The deadline to qualify is noon April 3. Roane County doesn't have political primaries, and countywide races are nonpartisan.

Two candidates -- former County Executive Mike Farmer and Darryl Meadows -- have taken out qualifying petitions to run against incumbent County Executive Ron Woody but haven't filed them with the Election Commission. Woody has qualified for re-election.

In the sheriff's contest, incumbent Jack Stockton faces Rockwood Police Department officer Jared A. Hall.

The race for Circuit Court clerk remains in flux after Wednesday's announcement that one candidate, Randy Ellis, is dropping out and has decided instead to run for re-election to County Commission.

Circuit Court clerk candidates who have qualified are Ann Goldston and Sarah E. Stewart; while Ronald Berry, Raymond Murray and Darrell Wayne Sproles have taken out petitions.

In the register of deeds race, incumbent Sharon Brackett has qualified, while William B. Pesterfield Jr. hasn't filed his petition.

Incumbents unopposed to date are Trustee Wilma Jean Eblen, County Clerk Barbara J. Anthony, and Jeff Wicks and Dennis W. Humphrey, the county's current two General Sessions Court judges.

The only candidate so far for county attorney is Greg Leffew.

Two countywide officeholders aren't seeking re-election but instead are running for a judge's post in the 9th Judicial District, which includes Roane, Meigs, Morgan and Loudon counties.

Current Roane County Attorney Tom McFarland and Roane County Circuit Court Clerk Kim R. Nelson are running for Circuit Court judge, a post held by Russell Simmons Jr., who is retiring. Mike Pemberton also is running, while Loudon County lawyer Stewart Crane has taken out a petition.

The district's incumbent public defender, Joe H. Walker, faces opposition from Harold D. Balcom Jr. Terry L. Stevens II has taken out a petition.

Judicial district incumbents unopposed to date: Chancellor Frank Williams, District Attorney General Russell Johnson and Criminal Court Judge E. Eugene Eblen.

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