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Six to compete for three Bluff City alderman seats

February 17th, 2007 8:51 pm by J. H. Osborne



BLUFF CITY - Six people filed qualifying petitions in time to be candidates for alderman in Bluff City when voters go to the polls May 15.


There are three aldermanic seats on the ballot that day 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.


All three filed paperwork to seek reelection.


As things stood after a filing deadline this past week, those incumbents will be joined on the ballot by three challengers.


Others who filed before Thursday's noon deadline were: James A. (Jim) Embree; Todd Malone; and J.C. Gentry.


The ballot won't be official until certified by the Sullivan County Election Commission.


Candidates have until noon Feb. 22 to withdraw before the ballot is certified. The Sullivan County Election Commission is scheduled to meet Feb. 27 to certify the ballot.


Bluff City aldermen are elected to four-year terms and are not elected by district. That means the top three vote-getters will win the seats come election day.


Would-be write-in candidates still have time to file. The deadline to do so is 20 days prior to the election. Voters may write in anyone they want for any seat on the ballot - but under state law, election officials are only required to count results for official write-in candidates.


To qualify, write-in candidates would have to meet the regular requirements.


Requirements to run: must be a resident of the city and must be 18 years old.


Bluff City residents who are not already registered to vote have about eight weeks before a deadline to register and be eligible to vote in the May 15 city election.


The deadline is 30 days prior to the election. That falls on a Sunday. The last day to register in person at the Sullivan County Election Commission's office in Blountville is April 13, Administrator of Elections Gena Frye said. Applications to register postmarked by April 15 will be processed, Frye said, but she cautioned that most area post offices are closed on Sundays, so April 14 is more likely a better target date for residents to keep in mind.


For more information about the May 15 elections, visit www.sullivancountyelections.org or contact the Sullivan County Election Commission at 323-6444.


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