QUALIFYING CANDIDATES: BRADLEY COUNTY CONSTABLES
Garry D. Moore
Jimmy Kendrick Jr.
Timothy Colbaugh Jr.
QUALIFYING CANDIDATES: BRADLEY COUNTY COMMISSION
District 1, Seat A
District 1, Seat B
District 2, Seat A
District 2, Seat B
District 3, Seat A
District 3, Seat B
District 4, Seat A
District 4, Seat B
District 5, Seat A
Jerry W. Cross
District 5, Seat B
District 6, Seat A
District 6, Seat B
District 7, Seat A
Kevin Dean Raper
Joshua Watson Rogers
Tammy Davis (Democrat)
District 7, Seat B
CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Election officials will establish the May 1 primary ballot for Bradley County on Monday.
None of the 42 candidates who had qualified to seek office as of the Feb. 15 deadline have withdrawn. Except for a lone Democrat seeking a Bradley County Commission seat, all the office-seekers will compete in the Republican primary.
Twelve incumbents make up the 22 candidates seeking to fill the 14 seats of the Bradley County Commission, and only four of them face opponents. In all, six of the commission seats are contested.
Until the county commission narrowly voted to change the law last summer, commission candidates competed in district-wide free-for-alls to land one of the two seats allotted to each of the county's seven districts. Now they make a stand for Seat A or Seat B of a given district, which allows challengers to pick which incumbents they want to oppose.
Oscar Kelley, secretary of the Bradley County Election Commission, has expressed doubts the change will confuse voters.
"When people go to vote, they're not really going to be looking at Seat A or B, but whose name is on the ballot," Kelley said on Thursday.
The new election method has mostly involved the candidates, who petition for specific seats, he said.
Travis Henry, election commission chairman, could not be reached for comment.
Bradley County Commission Vice Chairman Jeff Yarber and Commissioner Howard Thompson, who both run unopposed, take different sides on the issue.
Yarber has called for an "open mind" and contends the old district-wide method encouraged some voters to withhold their second vote for fear of hurting their first candidate choice.
Thompson and the five commissioners who voted against the change have asked why they should fix something they believed wasn't broke.
"I never understood changing the way we've been doing things for the last 40 or 50 years," Thompson has said.
The county's seven constable races have attracted 11 candidates, resulting in three contested seats. Each district elects one constable.
Incumbents seek to hold all seven of the countywide seats up for election, but only the sheriff and circuit clerk seats have attracted challengers.
In those races, Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson and Circuit Court Clerk Gayla Miller face challengers Steve Lawson and Jeff Young, respectively.
The Bradley County Elections Office has confirmed it will operate three polling locations during the early voting period, which begins on April 11.
On the county's south side, early voters may go a mobile voting unit located at Food City, located near APD 40. In the north end, they may vote at Bradley Square Mall. The election office downtown also will conduct early voting.
Contact Paul Leach at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @pleach_3.