Interest High for County Commission Seats

Though the May election is still several months away, some are already looking toward the General Election in August. The late summer election ballot will carry the Republican nominations for County Elected Officials for the office of Mayor, Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerk, County Court Clerk, Registrar of Deeds, Trustee, as well as judicial positions. Headlining the local ballot will also be the election of county commissioners.

Jefferson County has 21 county commissioners that act as the policy making and funding body for Jefferson County. All 21 commission seats are on a four year election cycle, and all come up for grabs in August of 2018. As of press, 32 residents from various districts have picked up petitions to run for the office of county commission in their respective districts. Jefferson County has 10 commission districts and each district has two county commission representatives, with the exception of White Pine, which has three representatives. Each of the ten districts has at least two petitions to run for office out for signatures; however, some districts have several interested candidates. Those that pick up the paperwork to run for office must return the appropriate paperwork and signed petition by the election deadline. The deadline to run on the party ticket in the May primary election has passed, but county commission seats are not party affiliated. There are still a few weeks for interested parties to get petitions signed and returned to qualify for the August election. Of the 32 petitions that have been picked up for county commission, 12 have already qualified to be on the August General Election ballot.

Currently, District 3, which represents the White Pine area, has the most interest, with 9 potential candidates picking up petitions and 5 of those already qualified.

Picking up and qualifying to represent District 1 on the county commission are incumbents Huffaker and Kesterson. Incumbents Douglas and Gaut have picked up for District 2, with Gaut qualifying. Also picking up for District 2 is Patterson. Three incumbents for White Pine, Baxley, Musick, and Tabor, have all picked up petitions, but none have, as of press, qualified. Five qualifying petitions have been turned in for the District 3 seats, and they belong to Brooks, Gessner, Griffin, Lowe, and Phagan. Scarlett has also picked up for District 3, but not yet qualified.

Only one potential candidate, Melton, has picked up for District 4, but no qualifying petitions have been returned. Incumbents Solomon and Seals have picked up and qualified for District 5, and incumbents Blevins and Eslinger have picked up for District 6, with Eslinger already qualifying. Bales and Scarlett, incumbents for District 7, have picked up petitions, as has Smallman, but to date no qualifying petitions have been returned. Five candidates have picked up petitions for District 8. Dockery will be lone incumbent on the District 8 ballot, should he qualify, as Commissioner Tucker is running for County Mayor. Also picking petitions are Coleman, Farzanegan, Hancock, and Martin, with no qualifying petitions returned to date. Three petitions have been picked up for District 9. Incumbents Carmichael and Seal have both picked up, with Seal already qualifying. Also picking up for District 9 is Walker. Neither incumbent for District 10 has picked up a petition as of press date; however, Bettis and Thomas have picked up, but not returned for that district.

Also turning in for the August election are School Board incumbents for District 1 Potts and Bradley, both of which have qualified. County Mayor General Election candidate Dockery has qualified for the August election. Wolz has picked up, but not returned as of press. Constable for District 1 candidate Armour has picked up, as has Road Commissioner for District 1 Batson and Woods. District 3 Road Commissioner has one potential candidate: Simpson.

Qualifying for State positions are Betty Fain for Republican State Executive Committeewoman District 8, Jeremy Faison for Sate Representative District 11, Andrew Farmer State Representative District 17, and Bishop Republican State Executive Committeeman District 8 and the Libertarian Party.

Source: K. Depew, News Director