published Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

Primary winnows down area's county mayoral candidates for August general election

"I voted" stickers sit on a table at the Blue Springs voting precinct in Bradley County on Tuesday.
"I voted" stickers sit on a table at the Blue Springs voting precinct in Bradley County on Tuesday.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

AREA COUNTY MAYOR VOTE TOTALS

Bledsoe County

Gregg Ridley (R) -- 979

Rodney Warran (R) -- 377

Grundy County

Michael Brady (D) -- 1,174

Ralph E. Rieben (D) -- 930

Lonnie D. Cleek (D) -- 663

Wanda J. Meeks (D) -- 429

Emily C. Partin (D) -- 352

Marion County

David Jackson (D) -- 1,703

John Graham (D) -- 1,676

McMinn County

John Gentry (R) -- 4,187

Kelly Shepherd (R) -- 2,468

Charles Carter (R) -- 442

Monroe County

Tim Yates (R) -- 2,551

Bob Lovingood (R) -- 1,655

Ira D. Lee (R) -- 726

William T. Bell (R) -- 246

Jim Stutts (D) -- 690

Polk County

Executive

Hoyt Firestone (D) -- 1,754

Blake Rymer (D) -- 1,262

Scott Yates (R) -- 298

David Dishman (R) -- 232

Note: All results are unofficial until certified.

Even before primary votes were counted Tuesday night, Paul West knew he had a place on the August general election ballot in Marion County, Tenn.

That's because West, an alderman in the city of Jasper, was the only Republican candidate for county mayor.

He was one of a number of unchallenged candidates who sat back Tuesday night and watched as contenders from the other party battled it out for a place on the August ballot.

West will face Democrat David Jackson, who got 1,703 votes Tuesday -- enough to beat incumbent Marion County Mayor John Graham, who had 1,676 votes.

"We had a good, clean race," Jackson said. "I'll be out there hitting the pavement, talking to as many people as I can [for the August election]."

While Democrats have dominated in Marion County, West, who got 485 votes, thinks he's got a shot in August.

"It's definitely been strongly Democrat, but it seems to shifting a lot more Republican, now," he said of Marion County.

Other election results were as follows:

Bledsoe County

Incumbent Bledsoe County Mayor Bobby Collier, a Democrat, ran unopposed Tuesday. He received 339 votes. Collier will face Republican challenger Gregg Ridley, who got 971 votes -- more than twice the 397 votes garnered by his Republican opponent Rodney Warran.

Grundy County

Incumbent Grundy County Mayor Lonnie Cleek, a Democrat, lost his shot at re-election to Larry Brady. Cleek got 663 votes to Brady's 1,174 votes. Also on the Democratic ballot were Ralph Rieben, 930 votes,Wanda Meeks, 429 votes and Emily Partin, 352 votes. Brady will face Republican Aubrey Harper in August.

McMinn County

In the three-way Republican McMinn County mayoral race, incumbent John Gentry took a commanding lead. At the final tally, Gentry had 4,187 votes. Challenger Kelly Shepard took second with 2,468 votes. In third was Tracy Carter, with 442 votes. There was no Democratic candidate, which essentially makes this Gentry's re-election.

Monroe County

Incumbent Republican Mayor Tim Yates won the hotly contested Republican primary.

Yates had 2,551 votes when the final tally was done. Republican challenger Bob Lovingood followed with 1,655. Next was Irad Lee with 726 votes and William Bell with 246.

Democrat Jim Stutts got 690 votes.

Polk County

Polk County totals showed that mayoral race incumbent, Hoyt Firestone, won the Democratic primary with 1,754 votes. Fellow Democrat Blake Rymer came in second with 1,262.

Firestone will face Republican candidate Scott Yates, who got 298 votes, beating Republican David Dishman, who received 232 votes.

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at tomarzu@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6651.

Contact staff writer Alex Green at agreen@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480.

about Alex Green...

Alex Green joined the Times Free Press staff full-time in January 2014 after completing the paper's six-month, general assignment reporter internship. Alex grew up in Dayton, Tenn., which is also where he studied journalism at Bryan College. He graduated from Rhea County High School in 2008. During college, Alex covered the city of Graysville and the town of Spring City for The Herald-News. As editor-in-chief of Bryan College's student news group, Triangle, Alex reported on ...

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers Catoosa and Walker counties for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California. Stories he's covered include crime in blighted parts of metro Detroit and Reno, Nev.; environmental activists tree-sitting in California's Sierra Nevada foothills; attempts by the Michigan Militia to take over a township┬╣s government in northern Michigan. A native of Michigan, ...

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