The 2020 Hamblen County election season opened this morning as qualifying petition were first available for three countywide offices, two Hamblen County Commission seats and all seven road commission seats.

The Hamblen County property assessor, road superintendent races and the road commission seats will be decided in the normal election cycle.

Keith Ely, the incumbent property assessor, had already returned his qualifying petition by press time, according to Jeff Gardner, Hamblen County administrator of elections. The incumbent road commissioner is Barry Poole, who faced opposition four years ago.

Those elected in the trustee race and the District 14 and District 5 county commission races will serve for two years before they’ll have to run again or step aside.

The irregularity in the timing of the trustee’s race was created by the resignation of John Baskette and the appointment of former District 14 commissioner Scotty Long as trustee. Long’s former District 14, which is currently vacant, will be decided in the 2020 election. The county commission is scheduled to appoint a District 14 commissioner at its Oct. 24 meeting to serve until the election.

District 5 commissioner Mike Minnich was appointed to serve the unexpired term of the late Doe Jarvis, so that race will also be decided in 2020.

Jockeying for position has already begun.

Nicholas Greene, a codes enforcement officer for Morristown municipal government, picked up a qualifying petition this morning in the trustee election. Scott Cutshaw has a qualifying petition to run in the District 14 commission race, according to Jeff Gardner, Hamblen County administrator of elections.

The incumbent road commissioners are Tom Hyde, Gail Free, Delbert Nix, Wayne Pigmon, Dannie Bell, Charles Anderson and E.C. Long.

Qualifying petitions are due back at the election commission office by Dec. 12. The Republican and Democratic primaries will be held on March 3. The general election is on Aug. 6, and the winners will take office on Sept. 1, according to Gardner.