August ballot long, with lots of choices for voters

By THOMAS P. WEAVER, HORIZON Editor

Voters who plan on casting their ballots in every race in the county general election should plan on being in the voting booth for a while in August.

The ballot was set last Thursday at high noon when the qualifying deadline passed.  There will be nearly 70 local candidates and a total number approaching 100 on the August 5 ballot when the districtwide and statewide races are figured in.

All county races on the ballot will be contested ones, with no incumbents entering the election unopposed for the first time in recent history.

County commission races in particular have generated a lot of interest. Twenty-two candidates have qualified for the 10 seats in five districts across the county, with five candidates running in Districts 1, 4, and 5. There are four candidates in District 2, and the District 3 commission race has three candidates.

All but two of the incumbent commissioners are making re-election bids, with the exceptions being Beverley Young in District 4 and Mike Boles in District 3.

The race for county clerk will be the most crowded countywide race, with nine candidates vying to replace the retiring Pat Hix, while the race for county mayor will have five–including incumbent Dale Reagan.

The circuit court clerk and register of deeds races will both see a trio of candidates running for the respective offices, including incumbent clerk Susan Birdwell and incumbent register Brenda Browning.

Current road superintendent Ernest Garrison and incumbent trustee Charlie Key will also both see a challenger in August for the first time in several years.

Sheriff James Storie never picked up qualifying papers this spring leaving the race for the county’s top law enforcement officer wide open.  Current chief deputy Brandon Boone and former county sheriff Jerry Rhoton will face off hoping to succeed Storie.

The three school board districts that are on the ballot this year, with two seats elected in each district, have at least three candidates each. The fifth district has four.  All but one incumbent is running with Connie Dillehay in District 2 being the only exception.

Ten candidates are running for five available constable seats in the same number of districts, including three incumbents–Blake Strong in District 1, Jerry York in District 2, and Ray Buck in District 5.

Several districtwide and statewide offices are also on the ballot, adding to its length, including the races for governor, the congressional seat being vacated by Bart Gordon, the senate seat currently held by Mae Beavers, the state house seat now held by Les Winningham, and others.

Candidates who have qualified for the various county races are (“I” indicates incumbent):

Local countywide

County mayor-Dale Reagan (I), Gene Collins, Coell Hickman, Mark Lee, and Tom Weir.

Circuit court clerk-Susan Birdwell (I), Randall Killman, and Monica Hayes.

County clerk-Marilyn Boone, Ronald Buford, Sherry George, Chris Hix, Linda F. Key, William Lacy, Brent McCloud, Kevin Sweezy, and Donna Watson.

Trustee-Charlie Key (I) and Larry Denton.

Road superintendent-Ernest Garrison (I) and Jason Browning.

Register of deeds-Brenda Browning (I), Peggy Brown, and Kim Tucker.

Sheriff-Brandon Boone and Jerry Rhoton.

County commission

District 1-Bryan Coons (I), Timmie Scott (I), Bryon Beck, Larry Roach, and Junior Strong.

District 2-Denzil Cherry (I), Michael Lee (I), John Davis, and Parrish Wright.

District 3-Dorothy Burchett/Forney (I), Anna Ruth Locke, and Wayne Rich.

District 4-Winton Young (I), Paul “Yogi” Boles, Pamela Breeding, Donald Dyer, and Al Shaver.

District 5-Roger Gray (I), Cecil Langford (I), Michelle “Mickie” Repecka, Daniel Stewart, and Shawn Watson.

School board

District 2-Russell Cherry (I), Christina Crawford, and Veda Hix.

District 3-William “Bill” Donaldson (I), Kenneth David West (I), and Todd Lynn.

District 5-Elizabeth “Liz” Boles (I), Jerry Eads (I), Nathan Sherrell, and Doug Strong.

Constable

District 1-Blake Strong (I).

District 2-Jerry York (I), James Billingsley, and Robert Jacoby.

District 3-Charles “Wally” Maxwell and Sherry Monday.

District 4-Matthew Sidwell.

District 5-Ray Buck (I), Tracy Pennington, and James Reagan.