Lee wins Hawkins mayor GOP primary, faces five opponents in general election

Jeff Bobo • May 1, 2018 at 11:37 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Retired Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper Jim Lee won the Hawkins County Mayor Republican Primary Tuesday, but he's still got a lot of work ahead of him with four Independents and one Democrat seeking the seat in the Aug. 2 General Election.

There were five Republicans in Tuesday's Hawkins County Primary seeing to replace two-term County Mayor Melville Bailey, who chose not to seek a third term and instead run for State Representative this year.

With 1,918 votes, Lee's closest competition came from retired TRW department manager and current Rogersville Martial Arts instructor Kelly Markham who received 1,666 votes.

Finishing a distant third was former county commissioner and current county solid waste director Charlie Freeman with 573, ahead of District 5 Commissioner Mark Linkous with 482, and retired veteran Dennis Chamberlain with 252.

Lee will face competition in the Aug. 2 primary from Democrat and Rogersville businessman David Bailey; and Independents Dennis Deal, the longtime mayor of Church Hill; Danny Breeding, the longtime Hawkins County Veterans Services Director; John Neubert, a past state representative candidate; and Roy "Sgt. Spears/Uncle Roy" Edward Spears.

Most other Hawkins County office holders were re-elected without opposition, with the exception of Highway Superintendent Lowell Bean (2,829), who defeated challenger Joe Parrott (2,270).

Bean has no challenger in the Aug. 2 General Election.

As for the contested constable races: In District 1 Bill Creasy (208) defeated incumbent Ryan Christian (114) and Kevin Engwiller (49); in District 5 incumbentCharlie Gibson (722) defeated Michael Thacker (163); and in District 6 Johnny Lee Drinnon (312) defeated Wayne Cunningham (270).

Voter turnout for Tuesday's Hawkins County primary was only 18.49 percent, with 5,718 of the county's 30,933 registered voted casting their ballot.

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