Bradley County voter turnout not boosted by open governor, Senate races

Bradley County voter turnout not boosted by open governor, Senate races

July 23rd, 2018 by Paul Leach in Local Regional News


The early voting period for the Aug. 2 election begins July 13 and ends July 28.

Early voting hours

Monday through Friday: 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.

Saturday: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Early voting locations

Bradley County Election Commission Office

155 Broad St. NW

Cleveland, TN 37311

Bradley Square Mall

200 Paul Huff Pkwy NW

Cleveland, TN 37312

(Suite 114, next to Stadium BBQ and Grill)

Food City parking lot

2310 McGrady Dr. SE

Cleveland, TN 37323

(mobile unit in parking lot)

For more information, contact the Bradley County Election Commission Office at 423-728-7115 or visit the election office website at

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Bradley County's early voting numbers for the state primary and local general elections are on par with 2014 election figures.

This election cycle is a little different, though. It includes open primary fields for whoever will succeed outgoing Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Sen. Bob Corker.

"I would have been hopeful the turnout would be higher with an open governor's seat and an open Senate seat," Fran Green, administrator of the Bradley County Election Commission Office, said Friday.

Six days into the 14-day early voting period for the Aug. 2 election, the daily average turnout tracks just above the 603 daily average set in the 2014 early voting period, which totaled 8,449 early and absentee ballots.

The Bradley County Election Commission Office reports voters have cast 3,654 early and absentee ballots as of July 19, amounting to a daily average of 609 voters.

Bradley County voters also have a handful of open local seats to decide. Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland's decision to not seek re-election after 27 years in office set off a chain reaction involving seats in the Tennessee House of Representatives and the Bradley County Commission.

Voters also will settle who takes an open at-large seat on the Cleveland City Council.

Duane Schriver, a retired educator, and Rep. Kevin Brooks, who is not seeking re-election to his Tennessee House District 24 seat, both want the mayor's seat. Rowland and Brooks announced their plans in a joint press conference in January.

"If voters elect me as mayor, it will give me a chance to give back to the city that has given to me so much," Brooks has said. "Cleveland is an amazing place to live, work and start a business."

Both mayoral candidates cite the need to continue downtown revitalization efforts.

"We're doing so many good things and I want to continue that vision," Shriver has said. "My goal is to provide fairness to all, favor to none."

Four candidates seek the Cleveland City Council At-Large 2 seat: Ken Webb, former president and CEO of Cleveland Utilities, and business owners Larry D'Agata, David Durkin and Scott McGowan. Richard Banks, who currently holds the seat, does not seek re-election.

Cleveland District 1 voters will choose between incumbent Charlie McKenzie and challenger Hiawatha Brown.

Four years ago, three-way battles — each featuring one Democrat and two Republicans — played across four Bradley County districts to decide eight of the county commission's 14 seats. This time around, voters only have the contest between Democrat Tammy Davis and Republican Kevin Raper for District 7, Seat A, left open by Mark Hall to pursue the vacant House District 24 seat.

Republican primary voters will choose one of four contenders — Israel David Farless, Alan Ledford, Garry D. Moore or Hall — to face Democrat Mallory Pickert for the vacant District 24 seat.

Four years ago, Republican primary voters carried Dan Howell to victory over Adam Lowe to fill the House District 22 vacancy left open by Eric Watson when he sought election as the county's sheriff. Howell faced no Democratic challenger.

Bradley County Board of Education elections offer two contested races, just as they did four years ago, with District 4 serving as a battleground again between Dianna Calfee and Troy Weathers. Calfee unseated Weathers, who had served on the board for 16 years, in 2014.

Vicki Beaty, who ran unopposed in 2014, faces challenger Chris Cassada in her bid for a third term as the District 2 school board representative.

Contact Paul Leach at Follow him on Twitter @pleach_3.