Four Hamilton County Commission races decided in primary election

One incumbent lost his seat Tuesday as voters went to the polls for Hamilton County Commission primary elections.

Longtime Soddy-Daisy City Commissioner Gene-o Shipley beat the incumbent District 1 commissioner of eight years, Randy Fairbanks of Soddy-Daisy, and business owner and educator Stacy Swallows, of Sale Creek, in the District 1 Republican primary election.

Shipley could not be reached for comment.

District 1 covers Soddy-Daisy, Sale Creek, Sequoyah, Falling Water and Dallas.

Shipley won despite Fairbanks significantly outraising his opponents with $66,200, compared to Shipley's $10,500 and Swallows' $12,100.

Real estate agent and East Ridge Vice Mayor Mike Chauncey beat East Ridge resident Tucker McClendon, who's served as chairman of the Hamilton County school board for the past year, in the District 8 Republican primary.

"I can't tell you how proud I am," said Chauncey, who was at home with his wife and daughter as the final results came in Tuesday. "We're just so excited about the outcome of the election, and we're looking forward to working with the new mayor and all the new council members, the sheriff, the new DA. I want to thank all my supporters throughout this process. It's been a bumpy road, and I am so excited to move forward."

McClendon brought in more donations than his opponent, raising $29,615 compared to Chauncey's $24,050.

District 8 covers East Ridge, Concord and Brainerd Hills.

Incumbent Tim Boyd, who has served three terms, did not seek re-election.

Walmart Regional Manager Jeffrey W. Eversole, of Ooltewah, narrowly beat retired health care executive Dean Moorhouse, of Ooltewah, in the District 10 Republican primary election.

"I'm excited," Eversole told the Chattanooga Times Free Press as results came in Tuesday night. "I look forward to serving the citizens of District 10 and of Hamilton County and helping us progress forward. It's been a tough fight; my opponent I've known for 20 years has been a good opponent, and I wish him the best."

District 10 covers Collegedale, Ooltewah Georgetown, Summit, Savannah Bay, Silverdale and part of Apison.

Eversole raised $53,175, compared to Moorhouse's $42,456.

In the District 10 Democratic primary, Greg Beck - who previously held the seat for more than 13 years before losing to Katherlyn Geter in 2018 - won with more than triple the number of votes as his closest competitor. Opposing candidates were Phylicia Blackmon, Hamilton County Health Department vital records registrar; retired Marine Nathaniel Doss III; and financial adviser Mike Greer.

Beck also led the competition in fundraising with $11,225, followed by Greer's $4,830. Blackmon and Doss did not report any donations.

Beck could not be reached for comment.

District 5 covers Brainerd, Glenwood, Tyner, Dalewood, Lake Hills, Woodmore, Eastgate, Ridgeside and the airport area.

Winners of the District 1, 5, 8 and 10 primary elections are effectively winners of their seats because they face no opposition in the August general election.

Small business owner Montrell Besley overwhelmingly won the District 11 Democratic primary, beating former Hamilton County Democratic Party Vice Chairman Sean Nix and Molly Blankenship, who suspended her campaign prior to the election.

Besley raised significantly more than the other candidates at $24,465. Nix raised $4,145, and Blankenship did not receive any monetary donations.

The newly created District 11 covers Alton Park, Lookout Valley, St. Elmo, Lookout Mountain, Eastside, Missionary Ridge and East Lake.

"I'm just excited to make it through this primary," Besley said by phone Tuesday. "I'm looking forward to this general election against Joe Graham, and we're going to make it happen. We just have to get people out to vote."

Besley will face Republican challenger and former County Commissioner Joseph "Joe" Graham, of Lookout Valley, in the general election. Graham served two four-year terms on the commission representing District 6 - which included Lookout Valley before the current nine-member body expanded to 11 districts for 2022 - until losing to Democrat David Sharpe in 2018.

The County Commission races in Districts 2, 4 and 7 are unopposed.

Republican Ruth Jeno, a Red Bank city commissioner, will challenge incumbent David Sharpe, a Democrat, in the District 6 general election.

In District 9, Democrat Steve Caudle will challenge Republican Steve Highlander in the August election.

District 3 incumbent Greg Martin, who was running unopposed, was appointed to serve as an interim state representative after the deadline for primary candidates to take their names off the ballot. A special election will be held to fill the seat.

County commissioners have four-year terms and are paid $24,417 annually, with an additional $5,000 for the chair and $2,500 for the vice chair.

Contact Emily Crisman at or 423-757-6508.