Contested races for county mayor, sheriff fan hot ballots across Southeast Tennessee rural counties

Contested races for county mayor, sheriff fan hot ballots across Southeast Tennessee rural counties

April 15th, 2018 by Ben Benton in Local Regional News

Party primaries across Southeast Tennessee's rural counties outside of Hamilton and Bradley have hot races on the ballot for county mayor, sheriff, county commission seats and other county offices as early voting got underway last week.

The most widely contested seat is for county mayor, with races in Bledsoe, Franklin, Grundy, Meigs and Polk counties. The post is county executive in Polk's case. Road superintendents drew contested ballots in Bledsoe and Grundy counties, and candidates are opposed in races for county clerk in Grundy, Marion and Polk.

The incumbent sheriffs in Marion and Meigs counties have primary challengers. Non-partisan Sequatchie County has no primaries, so its local elections will be a free-for-all in August. Rundowns on Bradley County primary races were published previously.

Bledsoe

Incumbent Bledsoe County Mayor Gregg Ridley, who also held the post for two terms from 2002 to 2010, is being challenged on the Republican primary ballot by Kendall Smith. The winner will face unopposed Democrat Randy L. Clark in August.

In a three-way race on the GOP primary ballot, Richard Keedy, Bobby B. Roberson and Jody L. Smith are vying for road superintendent, while Democrats Ricky L. Byrd and Robert Reece will battle for the same seat as the only contested race on Bledsoe's Democratic primary ballot.

Republican voters also will choose between Ronald (Ronny) Hudson and Johnny Mack Swafford for Bledsoe's County Commission 3rd District Part B seat.

Franklin

With the decision last year by longtime Franklin County Mayor Richard Stewart, a Democrat, not to run for re- election, the open post drew two hopefuls for the seat, David Alexander and Dave Van Buskirk, in the Republican primary. The winner will face Democrat Eddie Clark, who has no primary opposition, in August.

There are two Republicans vying for a slot on the August ballot for the County Commission District 1, Seat B post. The GOP primary race for County Commission District 2, Seat A is between Adam Casey and Lisa D. Mason.

For County Commission District 6, Seat B, Doug Goodman and Derrick Watson will face off for the post that drew no Democrats to challenge the Republican primary winner.

Grundy

Grundy County's Republican Party held a caucus earlier this year to choose candidates for county mayor and county commission districts 1, 2, and 3.

Grundy County Mayor Michael Brady, the incumbent Democrat, will face challenger John Hargis for the post in the county Democratic primary. The winner will face Republican Iva Michelle Russell in August.

Penny Smartt Sons and incumbent Crystal Stiefel will face off for the circuit court clerk seat. There is no Republican candidate, so the primary will decide the seat.

In Grundy's Democratic primary for county clerk, Blake A. Sanders and incumbent Tammy Sholey will have a primary showdown for the elected post since there is no Republican candidate seeking that seat.

Longtime incumbent Road Superintendent Hubert Dewayne "Turkey" Hargis is challenged by Johnny Ray Fults in the Democratic primary. The winner will take the seat, as no Republican is seeking the post.

For county trustee, C. David Lockhart II and Tyler McCullough will battle for the seat that also has no GOP challenger for the August ballot.

Marion

In Marion County's Republican primary, longtime incumbent Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett is challenged by Edward Slatton, while longtime incumbent County Clerk Dwight Minter is being challenged in the Democratic primary by Kimberli Joetta Ramsey.

In the primaries for County Commission 1st District, Seat A, Stephen A. Bullard and Gary Reames will face off for the Republican slot on the August ballot, while Jane W. Dawkins and Phillip Smith will battle for the Democratic slot against the GOP winner this summer.

In the race for County Commission 2nd District, Seat A, Republicans Joey Blevins Jr. and Kevin Fred Hawg Tuders will face off against incumbent Democrat Marshall A. Raines Sr., who has no primary opposition.

Republicans Steve Atterton and Jimmy W. Nunley will battle for the slot on the August ballot for County Commission 5th District, Seat A, to face the winner of the Democratic primary race between Joe Morrison and Donnie Sartin.

McMinn

No Democrats face opposition in the May primary in McMinn County, but there are contested races on the GOP ballot in three districts on the county commission.

Brent Carter, Ricky Powers and Tracey (Tad) Simpson will battle for two open slots on the May Republican primary ballot for County Commission 1st District, while it's a four-way race between Michael Bobich, Bill Crawford, James W. McPhall and Jerry L. Millsaps for two seats in County Commission, 2nd District. The 2nd District winner will face Democrat DiAnn Leman in August, while the winner of the 1st District race will hold the seat.

Republicans David Crews, Scott Curtis and Geoffery Suhmer Smith will vie for two County Commission 5th District seats in a primary race that will decide the seat holders.

Meigs

The Republican primary for Meigs County mayor will be a three-way battle between incumbent Bill James and challengers Jerry W. Beavers and Charles Lynn King in a race that will decide the seat, since no candidates qualified for the Democratic primary.

In County Commission 1st District, Republicans Phillip D. Grubb, Kristy Kelly-Sewell, Dustin Lankford and Dewayne Murphy will vie for the seat that has no challenger among Democrats.

Incumbent Republican Sheriff Jackie Melton will face challenger John Wayne Irwin Jr. to decide the seat not being sought by any Democrats in the primary, and in the GOP primary for county trustee, Helen Ann Aikman will face Stacie Goforth Hyde.

Polk

In the county executive race, Polk County Democrats will pick from Mitchell R. Hicks and Kelley Morgan for the slot on the August ballot against Republican Shawn Pritchett, who is unopposed in the primary.

In the Democratic primary for county clerk, Annie Henderson, Kalin Bishop Morris and Carole Smith Norwood will do battle for the post that has no GOP candidates.

In the Democratic primary for three seats in County Commission District 2, it's a six-man battle among Issac "Buster" Bramblett, Greg Brooks, Mike Curbow, Mark Evans, Arnold Hambright and Blake A. Rymer.

Rhea

Rhea County Republican will choose from Diane "Dicy" Brown, Teresa Hulgan, Adam Hurst and James Nevans for the GOP slot in August that will decide the seat since no Democrats are running. The race is Rhea's only contested race in May.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1.

More Info

BLEDSOE COUNTY

Republican Primary

County Mayor

*Vote for one

Gregg Ridley

Kendall Smith

County Commission 3rd District, Part B

*Vote for one

Ronald (Ronny) Hudson

Johnny Mack Swafford

Road Superintendent

*Vote for one

Richard Keedy

Robby B. Roberson

Jody L. Smith

Democratic Primary

Road Superintendent

*Vote for one

Ricky L. Byrd

Robert Reece

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Republican Primary

County Mayor

*Vote for one

David Alexander

Dave Van Buskirk

County Commissioner District 1, Seat B

*Vote for one

Lydia Curtis Johnson

Benjamin Smith

County Commissioner District 2, Seat A

*Vote for one

Adam Casey

Lisa D. Mason

County Commissioner District 6, Seat B

*Vote for one

Doug Goodman

Derrick Watson

Constable District 4

*Vote for one

Charles Keller

Ron Smith

Democratic Primary

Constable District 2

*Vote for one

Ray Conley

Larry W. Hill

GRUNDY COUNTY

Republican caucus candidates are unopposed*

Democratic Primary

County Mayor

*Vote for one

Michael Brady

John Hargis

Circuit Court Clerk

*Vote for one

Penny Smartt Sons

Crystal Stiefel

County Clerk

*Vote for one

Blake A. Sanders

Tammy Sholey

Road Superintendent

*Vote for one

Johnny Ray Fults

Hubert Dewayne “Turkey” Hargis

County Trustee

*Vote for one

C. David Lockhart II

Tyler McCullough

*The Grundy County Republican Party chose to forgo the primary process and picked candidates for County Commission in districts 1, 2 and 3 and for County Mayor through a caucus held in February.

MARION COUNTY

Republican Primary

County Commission 1st District, Seat A

*Vote for one

Stephen A. Bullard

Gary Reames

County Commission 2nd District, Seat A

*Vote for one

Joey Blevins Jr.

Kevin Fred Hawg Tuders

County Commission 5th District, Seat A

*Vote for one

Steve Atterton

Jimmy W. Nunley

Sheriff

*Vote for one

Ronnie “Bo” Burnett

Edward Slatton

Democratic Primary

County Commission 1st District, Seat A

*Vote for one

Jane W. Dawkins

Phillip Smith

County Commission 5th District, Seat A

*Vote for one

Joe Morrison

Donnie Sartin

County Clerk

*Vote for one

Dwight Minter

Kimberli Joetta Ramsey

MCMINN COUNTY

Republican Primary

County Commission 1st District

Vote for two

Brent Carter

Ricky Powers

Tracey “Tad” Simpson

County Commission 2nd District

Vote for two

Michael Bobich

Bill Crawford

James W. McPhall

Jerry L. Millsaps

County Commission 5th District

Vote for two

David Crews

Scott Curtis

Geoffery Suhmer Smith

Constable 3rd District

*Vote for one

Richard G. Raper

Eric L. Rogers

Democratic Primary has no contested races

MEIGS COUNTY

Republican Primary

County Mayor

*Vote for one

Jerry W. Beavers

Bill James

Charles Lynn King

County Commission 1 District

*Vote for two

Phillip D. Grubb

Kristy Kelly-Sewell

Dustin Lankford

Dewayne Murphy

County Trustee

*Vote for one

Helen Ann Aikman

Stacie Goforth Hyde

Sheriff

*Vote for one

John Wayne Irwin Jr.

Jackie Melton

Democratic Primary has no contested races

POLK COUNTY

Republican Primary has no contested races

Democratic Primary

County Executive

*Vote for one

Mitchell R. Hicks

Kelley Morgan

County Clerk

*Vote for one

Annie Henderson

Kalin Bishop Morris

Carole Smith Norwood

County Commission District 2

*Vote for three

Issac “Buster” Bramblett

Greg Brooks

Mike Curbow

Mark Evans

Arnold Hambright

Blake A. Rymer

RHEA COUNTY

Republican Primary

Register of Deeds

*Vote for one

Diane “Dicy” Brown

Teresa Hulgan

Adam Hurst

James Nevans

Democratic Primary has no contested races

Source: County election commissions and the Tennessee Secretary of State

More Info

Key dates

› Early voting period: April 11-26

› Election Day: May 1

Source: Tennessee Secretary of State — Elections

 

 


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