BLOUNTVILLE - With about three weeks to go until the filing deadline, interest from would-be candidates for local city governments and school boards seems to have "picked up" in the past week..
But no one has filed the necessary petition to be an official candidate for anything.
Petitions to get on the ballot for upcoming city elections in Kingsport, Bristol and Bluff City have been available for pickup since late November at the Sullivan County Election Commission Office.
As of close of business Friday, 14 petitions had been issued, Administrator of Elections Gena Frye said. That's up from just seven a week before. In all, voters in the three cities will elect 16 officeholders.
No petitions had been issued by Frye's office for Kingsport's mayor's slot - but Mayor Dennis Phillips indicated to the Times-News in mid-December that he will seek re-election.
Two petitions had been issued for aldermen in Kingsport - there are three seats on the May 15 ballot. Each of the petitions issued to date is for newcomers to the job: a petition had been issued to Ray Cain, another to Richard L. Samples.
Three seats on the Kingsport Board of Education will also be on the May 15 ballot. Three petitions had been issued - to the three incumbents: Wallace Boyd Jr., Susan Lodal and Randall Montgomery.
Three petitions had been issued for two at-large seats on the Bristol City Council. They were issued to: Wayne Chaney, John Robert Harrison and incumbent James E. Messimer.
No petitions had been issued for the Bristol Tennessee Board of Education, District Two seat on the May 15 ballot. But two petitions had been issued for a BOE seat representing District Four: Bill Alston and Vincent L. Margiewicz.
Juvenile Court Clerk Gay Hillman and Juvenile Court Judge Paul R. Wohlford have each picked up a petition to run for reelection.
Two Bluff City alderman petitions had been issued, to incumbents Lon Gene Leonard and Betty J. O'Dell. There are three aldermanic seats on Bluff City's May 15 ballot.
To qualify for the ballot in any of the cities, candidates have to file a petition with the Election Commission no later than noon Feb. 15 - with at least 25 signatures from registered voters eligible to cast a ballot in the race in question.
As of close of business Friday, none of the would-be candidates had filed a completed petition.
Model City residents will elect a majority membership of both the Kingsport Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the Kingsport Board of Education.
In Kingsport, incumbents whose seats are on the May 15 ballot are Mayor Dennis Phillips, Alderman Ken Maness, Alderman Ken Marsh, Alderman Larry Munsey, BOE member Susan N. Lodal, BOE member Wallace Boyd Jr. and BOE President Randall C. Montgomery.
Model City mayors serve two-year terms. Aldermen and BOE members serve four years.
In Kingsport, BMA and BOE members are not elected by district. Requirements to run include: must be a resident of the city; must be 18 years old; candidates for BOE must present a copy of high school or college diploma.
In Bristol, incumbents whose seats are on the May 15 ballot are Councilman William "Bill" Bingham (at-large member), Councilman James E. Messimer (at-large member), BOE member Steve Morgan (District 2), BOE member Beth W. Webb (District 4), Juvenile Court Clerk Gay Hillman, and Juvenile Court Judge Paul R. Wohlford.
Members of the Bristol City Council and BOE are elected to four-year terms, as is the juvenile court clerk. The juvenile court judge is elected to an eight-year term. Requirements to run include: must be a resident of the city for at least one year prior to May 15, 2007; must be 21 years old; candidates for BOE must present a copy of high school or college diploma.
In Bluff City, incumbents whose seats are on the May 15 ballot are Alderman Melvin Carrier, Alderman Lon Gene Leonard and Alderman Betty J. O'Dell.
Bluff City aldermen are elected to four-year terms and are not elected by district. Requirements to run: must be a resident of the city; and must be 18 years old.
For more information about the May 15 elections visit www.sullivancountyelections.org or contact the Sullivan County Election Commission at 323-6444.