Hamblen GOP primary field mostly set
The qualification deadline for the May 6 primaries has passed. However, the status of one of the candidates is very much in question.
Former Democratic County Commissioner Joe Spoone has challenged District 6 County Commissioner Tim Goins in the Republican Primary.
However, local Republican Party officials say that state Republican Party bylaws, which were last amended in 2011, mandate that a candidate must have voted in two of the four most recent Republican primaries or be sufficiently vouched for to the satisfaction of the state party.
Hamblen County Republican Party President Constance Hightower said because Spoone does not meet the voting requirements, the eligibility of his petition has been sent to the state party for review.
She said they expect to hear a response before the withdrawal deadline of Feb. 27.
Those who returned qualifying petitions in the County Republican Primary are:
District 1 – Joe T. Huntsman Sr. (Paul LeBel is not running for his current seat.)
District 2 – Incumbent Nancy Phillips versus Taylor Ward
District 3 – Incumbent Dana Wampler, unopposed
District 4 – Incumbent Wayne NeSmith versus John F. Smyth
District 5 – Louis “Doe” Jarvis, unopposed
District 6 – Incumbent Tim Goins versus Joe Spoone (TBD)
District 7 – Incumbent Howard Shipley, unopposed
District 8 – Incumbent Tim Dennison versus Randy Debord
District 9 – Incumbent Larry Baker versus Johnny Walker
District 10 – Incumbent Herbert Harville versus Bo Shultz
District 11 – Incumbent Rick Eldridge, unopposed
District 12 – Hubert Davis versus Thomas Sission versus Randy Noe (Doyle Fullington is not running for his current seat.)
District 13 – Stancil Ford
District 14 – Incumbent Larry Carter versus Ann Hale
There are two Independent candidates that qualified, Bobby Reinhardt in District 10 and Michael “Butch” Jarnagin in District 13, but their names will not be on the primary ballot. Their names will appear in the Aug. 7 General Election as will the names of two Democrats.
Nigel Reid II has qualified to challenge County Mayor Bill Brittain and Cecil Mills has thrown his hat into the ring and will be running in the general election for District Attorney General.
Competition for constable seats is not quite as fierce, with no one running in the District 5 and 6 slot.
Tennessee law states that “any person attempting to be elected by write-in ballots shall complete a notice” 50 days before the general election. If no write-in ballots are received, the county commission will appoint someone.
Those running for the constable seats are:
Districts 1 and 2 – Paul McKinney
Districts 3 and 4 – Tommy McKinney
Districts 7 and 8 – Dwayne Sliger
Districts 9 and 10 – James “Pondy” Drinnon versus Don Ashford
Districts 11 and 12 – Tim McKinney
Districts 13 and 14 – Ricky Sutton versus Dennis Hibbard
Incumbent Sheriff Esco Jarnagin has been challenged by former Morristown Police Major Gary Lowe.
With the announcement of District Attorney General (Third Judicial District) Berkley Bell’s retirement after 18 years, three candidates are vying for the seat.
Dan E. Armstrong and Ed Kershaw each returned their qualifying petitions in time. The winner will face Mills in the general election.
General Sessions Judge I Doug Collins has been challenged by Michael “Mike” Murphy.
There are two vying for retired Circuit Court Judge Part I Kindall Lawson’s seat. Alex E. Pearson and Linda Thomas Woolsey each returned their qualifying petitions.
Those not facing opposition are:
Circuit Court Judge Part II – Thomas J. Wright
Circuit Court Judge Part III – Mike Faulk
General Sessions Judge II – Janice H. Snider
Criminal Court Judge – John F. Dugger Jr.
Chancellor – Douglas T. Jenkins
Trustee – John Baskette
Public Defender – Greg W. Eichelman
County Clerk – Linda Wilder
Circuit Court Clerk – Teresa West
Register of Deeds – Jim Clawson
Early voting begins April 16 through May 1 at the Election office on West Second North Street.
-By Aletheia Davidson, Tribune Staff Writer