BLOUNTVILLE — Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson has raised more in contributions to his re-election campaign and spent more on his re-election effort than either of his two challengers for the GOP nomination, according to first quarter campaign financial disclosure reports filed by the three last week. The closest in fundraising to the sheriff during the reporting period was independent candidate Jeff Cassidy, who voters won’t see on the ballot until the county general election in August.
Two other factors that set Anderson apart from all three challengers: His campaign fundraising does not include any loans, from himself or anyone else; and his campaign has the largest balance on hand, according to the disclosures, which cover finances from Jan. 16 through March 31.
The election process
Sullivan County voters will elect a sheriff in the county general election in August, but first they will will narrow the field of candidates in the Republican Party primary on May 1. There are three candidates seeking the GOP nomination: Anderson, Matt Austin and Joe Earles. The winner of the GOP primary will become the party’s nominee and face Cassidy in the county general election in August.
Each campaign’s totals
The deadline for campaigns to file first quarter disclosures was April 10. According to public information on file with the Sullivan County Election Commission:
Anderson (R): Anderson’s campaign, with Frank Horne listed as treasurer, filed its report April 12. It began the period with a balance on hand of $4,851.03, had total receipts of $10,883, spent $7,761.17, and ended with a balance on hand of $7,972.86 (no loans outstanding).
Austin (R): Austin’s campaign, with Walter Brown listed as treasurer, filed its report April 11. It began the period with a balance on hand of $4,352.43, had total receipts of $5,150.73, spent $7,409.69, and ended with a balance on hand of $2,093.47 (and an outstanding $3,200 loan from the candidate).
Cassidy (I): Cassidy’s campaign, with Cassandra Honaker listed as treasurer, filed its report April 10. It began the period with a balance on hand of $951.66, had total receipts of $8,683, spent $6,338.43, and ended with a balance on hand of $3,296.23 (and an outstanding $2,5000 loan from the candidate).
Earles (R): Earles’s campaign, with William Sumner listed as treasurer, filed its report April 10. It began the period with a balance on hand of $89.25, had total receipts of $4,306.67, spent $4,212.17, and ended with a balance on hand of $183.75 (and outstanding loans of $4,573.06 from the candidate and $200 from Sumner.
As an independent candidate, Cassidy secured his spot on the August county general election ballot simply by filing a petition earlier this year.
The three GOP candidates are competing in the Republican Party primary on May 1 (the Democratic Party primary is the same day, but there is not a Democratic candidate for sheriff). Early voting began at the Sullivan County Election Office in Blountville last week and continues through April 26. Early voting begins at the Kingsport Civic Auditorium and the National Guard Armory in Bristol on April 19 and will continue through April 26. Registered Sullivan County voters may early vote at any of the three locations listed, but on Election Day, voters may only cast a ballot at their assigned precinct location. Tennessee is an “open primary” state. Voters are not registered by party and may choose which primary they want to vote in when they arrive at the polling place.
For more information on how to vote, including your registration status, assigned precinct and sample ballots, visit the Sullivan County Election Commission’s website at www.scelect.org.