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Felony conviction disqualifies mayoral candidate

J. H. Osborne • Updated Feb 27, 2018 at 3:18 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — An  independent candidate for Sullivan County Mayor has been disqualified for the office after being convicted of  felony, Sullivan County Administrator of Elections Jason Booher said Monday.

The filing deadline for would-be candidates for that and multiple other county offices up for election this year noon Feb. 15. Later that day the Sullivan County Election Commission met and certified all those who had met the deadline.

The deadline to withdraw was noon February 22.

On that day Kelly B. Frye was convicted of a Class D felony, according to a short statement issued by Booher on Monday, and under state law that disqualifies Frye from being a candidate for the office of county mayor.

By Monday, Frye’s name had been removed from the Sullivan County Election Commission’s online list of candidates.

With Frye’s removal, Gerald L. Sensabaugh Jr. remains as the only independent candidate in the mayor race —  and the only challenger for Sullivan County Mayor Richard Venable, who is seeking reelection. As the sole candidate in the Republican Party Primary in May, Venable is a shoe-in to be the GOP nominee, going on to face Sensabaugh in the general election in August.

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