Almost every major county office to be contested in election of 2010

From Staff Reports

CELINA-It’s hard to believe another four-year election cycle has rolled around, but it has.

2010 is the year of the quadrennial county elections, with virtually every office on the ballot, but there are also some very interesting other races that will be on the slate–most notably governor, the 6th District U.S. Rep. seat being vacated by the retiring Bart Gordon, and the 17th District State Senate seat being vacated by Mae Beavers. 

On the local front, voters will be casting ballots for every major elected office except two in the quadrennial county general election in August.

Local races

Local offices to be contested this year are:

• county mayor,

• trustee,

• sheriff,

• circuit court clerk,

• county clerk,

• register of deeds,

• road superintendent,

• 10 county commission seats,

• constable seats for all five districts, and

• both school board seats in districts 2, 3 and 5. 

Tax assessor and general sessions judge, which has an eight-year term, are the only major offices not being contested in 2010. 

The qualifying deadline for local races is April 1, according to the Clay County Election Administrator’s Office. As of Friday, 18 potential candidates had picked up qualifying papers, election officials said. 

District, statewide races

On a statewide and district level, voters will cast ballots for governor, the Congressional seat being vacated by Bart Gordon, the state Senate seat being vacated by Mae Beavers, and the state House seat now held by Les Winningham. 

Primaries for those seats will be held at the same time as the county general election, with the general election for state offices set for November. Here’s a look at three of those races:

GOVERNOR: Phil Bredesen is in the final year of his constitutionally-limited second term, and a host of candidates are looking to replace him.

Three Democratic candidates are actively seeking the nomination, with six Republicans running for the GOP nomination. At least four independent candidates could be on the November ballot. 

6TH DISTRICT CONGRESS: At least six Republicans have expressed interest in replacing retiring Democrat U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, who was first elected to office in 1984. That half-dozen GOP hopefuls includes two current State Senators. The Democratic field is still a bit unclear. Gordon is the longest-serving member of the current Tennessee Congressional delegation, and announced his impending retirement late last year. 

17th DISTRICT STATE SENATE: Mae Beavers announced last year she would not seek re-election to the Senate, but would run for Wilson County mayor. Beavers was a State Rep. from 1994-2002, and was elected to the Senate in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. 

The slate of candidates for the party nominations for this seat is still taking shape. 

Judicial races

Two State 13th Judicial District seats are up for election, both to fill out unexpired terms.

Attorney General and Circuit Judge Part I will both be on the ballot, with primaries in May and a general election in August. Clay County does not have a primary, but most of the other counties in the district do. 

Former Clay Countian Randy York was appointed attorney general by the governor in 2007 until the next election. The winner of this race will fill out the unexpired term of former DA Bill Gibson. 

Part I Circuit Judge Amy Hollars was also appointed by the governor to fill the spot vacated by the retirement of her father, Judge John Turnbull. The winner in this race will fill out Turnbull’s unexpired term.