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This story was updated at 11:44 a.m. on Wednesday, August 5, 2020, with more information.

Most rural counties in Southeast Tennessee have light general election ballots for Aug. 6, but there are contested races for assessors of property, county commission, some road superintendent or commissioner seats, municipal officers and school board. Meanwhile, Polk County voters will decide a proposed sales tax increase.

While all counties have state and federal races on the ballot, Sequatchie County is the only county in the Chattanooga region with no contested local races on the ballot.

 

Bledsoe County

The ballot in Bledsoe County has only one contested race for a seat on the Bledsoe County Board of Education. School board incumbent Stacy Holman Farmer and challenger Ben Farmer will vie for the seat, according to the ballot.

 

Bradley County

Bradley County voters will see a contested race for the unexpired Bradley County Commission District 5, Seat B term among Tim Fowler, Dennis Goins and current seat holder Cindy Slater, records show. Slater was appointed in October to fill the seat left vacant by the death of longtime commissioner Jeff Yarber last August.

In city elections, two candidates, Larry Hafley and incumbent Avery Johnson Sr., are vying for a Cleveland City Council at-large seat and incumbent Tom Cassada is defending his City Council District 3 seat against Scott McGowan.

 

Coffee County

The ballot in Coffee County contains contested municipal races, including mayors and aldermen in Manchester and Tullahoma, but all county races before voters are uncontested, according to the ballot. There's also an open seat on the Tullahoma School Board.

In Manchester, longtime incumbent Mayor Lonnie J. Norman is defending his seat against challenger Steven Jones, while three open Manchester alderman seats drew contenders. Incumbents Bob Bellamy, Chris Elam, and Ryan P. French face challengers Tammie K. Fuller, Donny N. Parlsey and James Threet for the trio of openings.

In Tullahoma, incumbent Mayor Lane Curlee did not run this year, leaving the fight for the seat to contenders and current city aldermen Daniel Berry and Ray Knowls. Meanwhile three candidates are bidding for the resulting two open alderman seats in a battle among Jenna Amacher, Robin Dunn and Ashli Collinsworth Shockley, the ballot shows.

In the Tullahoma School Board race, Amy Rogers Dodson will take on incumbents Gigi Robison, Kim Uselton and J. Patrick Welsh for three open seats on the August ballot.

 

Franklin County

Franklin County voters will weigh in on a race for an unexpired County Commission District 8, Seat A term among Republican Glen T. Summers Sr. and independents David A. Morris and current seat holder Christopher R. Smith, who was appointed in January. Don Cofer resigned for health reasons, according to the Herald-Chronicle newspaper in Winchester, Tennessee.

Franklin County voters also cast ballots in the same elections being held in Coffee County in the shared town of Tullahoma, so they'll pick from current city aldermen Daniel Berry and Ray Knowls for mayor, and the threesome bidding for the two open alderman seats in the race among Jenna Amacher, Robin Dunn and Ashli Collinsworth Shockley, according to the ballot. The same Franklin County voters will choose three candidates for Tullahoma School Board from Amy Rogers Dodson and incumbents Gigi Robison, Kim Uselton and J. Patrick Welsh.

 

Grundy County

Grundy County has one of only two races for assessor of property on local ballots in a four-way partisan race among Republican Charles "Mike" Cordell, Democrat William H. Ruehling and independents Daniel T. Crabtree and Doris Sanders Duncan for the seat left open by longtime incumbent Joanne Childers. Childers is retiring after this term, election commission officials said.

Two school board seats, District 2 and District 3, drew six candidates for three seats. Incumbent Chris Grooms, Rickey L. Harvey, Catrina R. Magouirk and Rick Rust are the contenders for two seats in District 2, while incumbent Reuben Newsome and Margaret Anne Thomas are vying for one seat in District 3, the ballot shows.

 

Marion County

Voters in Marion County will only see two contested races on the general election ballot on Thursday. Incumbent Republican Road Superintendent James H. Hawk is being challenged by Democrat Terry Smith for his seat. Hawk has held the seat since 2016, when the death of seat holder Neil Webb left the post unopposed.

In the race for an unexpired Marion County Board of Education District 2 seat, Nathan Billingsley and Carol Gunn Underhill are vying for the post left open by incumbent Lance Brown, who decided not to seek reelection.

 

McMinn County

McMinn County voters will vote in just one contested county race for an unexpired County School Board District 4 term between Bill Irvin, who has held the post since January, and Danny H. Pritchett, records show. Meanwhile, municipal races are on the ballots for Englewood and Etowah voters.

In Englewood, incumbent mayor Jason Hitt is being challenged by Tony R. Hawn, and in Etowah there's a three-way race for two open city commission seats among challenger John James and incumbents Gene Keller and Jim Swayne, the ballot shows.

 

Meigs County

The Meigs County School Board District 4 seat is up for grabs in a battle between Amber Hutsell Ammons and Marty D. Lawson, both of whom are seeking the post held by board chairwoman Tessa Perkinson, who is not seeking reelection, the ballot shows.

 

Polk County

Polk County has the biggest ballot of Chattanooga's rural surrounding Tennessee counties, with seven contested races and a sales tax referendum to fund school construction.

In the sales tax referendum, voters will consider whether to raise the local option sales tax rate from 9.25% to 9.75% "with such increase collected in its entirety, outside of the Incorporated City Limits being designated solely for New School Construction (Building) and collection of such increase inside incorporated cities being disbursed as directed by Tennessee State Law," the ballot reads. Voters will say whether they are for or against the increase.

In the assessor of property race, longtime seat holder Randy Yates' decision to retire this term led to a three-way battle to replace him among Republican Jason Pankey, Democrat Ramona Goforth-Price and Independent Seth McClary, according to the ballot. Yates has held the office since 1996.

Polk County voters also will choose a General Sessions Court judge from current Republican seat holder Brooklynn Townsend and Democrat challenger Laura M. Crawford. Election office officials said the previous elected seat holder, Judge Billy D. Baliles, resigned in 2017 for health reasons. To fill the vacancy, then-Gov. Bill Haslam appointed Townsend special judge for the court in November 2017.

A total of five Polk County School Board seats for districts 1, 2 and 3 are on the ballot.

In the District 1 race, Angie Crowder is challenging incumbents David F. Green and Jayson Lamb for two open seats, Mike F. Curbow and Nick D. Ratcliff are vying for a single District 2 seat on the ballot, and incumbents Robert "Robbie" Cole and James "Mush" Davis face challengers Jill Crago Rose and Bryan A. Todd for two seats in District 3.

Meanwhile, voters will choose between Democrat Jason Powell and independent Tim Tatum in the 2nd District constable race, the ballot shows.

 

Rhea County

Rhea County voters will choose between Masen Cheeks and Jim Vincent for an unexpired County Commission District 7 seat, the ballot shows. Vincent, the current seat holder, was appointed to the seat in November after longtime commissioner Ronnie Raper died in October 2019, according to an account in the Herald-News newspaper in Dayton.

In the lone school board race on the ballot, Wayne Cox and incumbent Carroll Henderson are vying for the District 6 seat.

Voters in Spring City will find a five-way fray for mayor on the ballot with the vacancy created by the retirement of longtime mayor Billy Ray Patton. Now candidates Pam Burger Anderson, Woody Evans, Bailey Hufsteller, current vice mayor Reba Murphy and Jason Price are vying for the mayor's job.

Spring City voters also will choose among Lee Booker, Kevin Jenkins, Leon Locke and Jeff "Bimbo" Rhear for two open Spring City Commission seats, according to the ballot.

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

REGION AUGUST 2020 GENERAL ELECTION

BLEDSOE

School Board District 4

Vote for one

Ben Farmer

Stacy Holman Farmer

BRADLEY COUNTY

County Commission District 5, Seat B unexpired term

Vote for one (1)

Tim Fowler

Dennis Goins

Cindy Slater

Cleveland City Council At-large seat

Vote for one

Larry Hafley

Avery Johnson Sr.

Cleveland City Council District 3

Vote for one

Tom Cassada

Scott McGowan

COFFEE COUNTY

Manchester Mayor

Vote for one

Steven Jones

Lonnie J. Norman

Manchester Aldermen

Vote for three

Bob Bellamy

Chris Elam

Ryan P. French

Tammie K. Fuller

Donny N. Parsley

James Threet

Tullahoma Mayor

Vote for one

Daniel Berry

Ray Knowls

Karl K. Smithson

Tullahoma Alderman

Vote for two

Jenna Amacher

Robin Dunn

Ashli Collinsworth Shockley

Tullahoma School Board

Vote for three

Amy Rogers Dodson

Gigi Robison

Kim Uselton

J. Patrick Welsh

FRANKLIN COUNTY

County Commission District 8, Seat A (unexpired term)

Vote for one

Glen T. Summers, Sr. Republican

David A. Morris, Independent

Christopher R. Smith, Independent

Tullahoma Mayor

Vote for one

Daniel Berry

Ray Knowls

Karl K. Smithson

Tullahoma Alderman

Vote for two

Jenna Amacher

Robin Dunn

Ashli Collinsworth Shockley

Tullahoma School Board

Vote for three

Amy Rogers Dodson

Gigi Robinson

Kim Uselton

J. Patrick Welsh

GRUNDY COUNTY

Assessor of Property

Vote for one

Charles “Mike” Cordell, Republican

William H. Ruehling, Democrat

Daniel T. Crabtree, Independent

Doris Sanders Duncan, Independent

Grundy County School Board District 2

Vote for two

Chris Grooms

Rickey L. Harvey

Catrina R. Magouirk

Rick Rust

Grundy County School Board District 3

Vote for one

Reuben Newsome

Margaret Anne Thomas

MARION COUNTY

Road Superintendent

Vote for one

James H. Hawk, Republican

Terry Smith, Democrat

County School Board District 2

Vote for one

Nathan Billingsley

Carol Gunn Underhill

MCMINN COUNTY

County School Board District 4, unexpired term

Vote for one

Bill Irvin

Danny H. Pritchett

Englewood Mayor

Vote for one

Tony R. Hawn

Jason Hitt

Etowah City Commission

Vote for two

John James

Gene Keller

Jim Swayne

MEIGS COUNTY

County School Board District 4

Vote for one

Amber Hutsell Ammons

Marty D. Lawson

POLK COUNTY

Assessor of Property

Vote for one

Jason Pankey, Republican

Ramona Goforth-Price, Democrat

Seth McClary, Independent

General Sessions Judge, unexpired term

Vote for one

Brooklynn Townsend, Republican

Laura M. Crawford, Democrat

School Board District 1

Vote for two

Angie Crowder

David F. Green

Jayson Lamb

School Board District 2

Vote for one

Mike F. Curbow

Nick D. Ratcliff

School Board District 3

Vote for two

Robert “Robbie” Cole

James “Mush” Davis

Jill Crago Rose

Bryan A. Todd

Constable 2nd District

Vote for one

Jason Powell, Democrat

Tim Tatum, Independent

Constable 3rd District

Vote for one

Jeremy Tipton, Republican

Keisha Powell, Democrat

Ralph Mike Worley, Independent

Sales Tax Referendum

Shall Resolution No. 07-01-19, to impose a local option sales tax for Polk County to a total rate of 9.75%, a one half percent increase (.5% increase) with such increase collected in its entirety, outside of the Incorporated City Limits being designated solely for New School Construction (Building) and collection of such increase inside incorporated cities being disbursed as directed by Tennessee State Law in Tennessee Code Annotated 67-6-712 (a)(2)(B) become operative?

Vote for One (1)

For

Against

RHEA COUNTY

County Commission District 7, unexpired term

Vote for one

Masen Cheeks

Jim Vincent

County School Board District 6

Vote for one

Wayne Cox

Carroll Henderson

Spring City Mayor

Vote for one

Pam Burger Anderson

Woody Evans

Bailey Hufsteller

Reba Murphy

Jason Price

Spring City Commission

Vote for two

Lee Booker

Kevin Jenkins

Leon Locke

Jeff “Bimbo” Rhear

SEQUATCHIE COUNTY

No contested local races

Source: Tennessee Secretary of State, Elections Division or County Election Commissions

 

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