ROGERSVILLE -- Anyone interested in being placed on the Nov. 6 ballot to fill the District 2 Hawkins County Commission seat formerly held by Dustin Dean has until Aug. 16 to qualify -- either by party nomination or as an independent.
A July 31 opinion handed down by Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper stated that Dean's seat "is automatically vacant with no judicial determination necessary to establish a vacancy."
The opinion states, "In this case, the vacancy would be placed on the ballot for the November election."
It was revealed in January that due to an oversight, Dean had been considered a District 2 resident while his residence of the past six years is actually located just a few feet inside the District 3 boundary.
Dean was registered to vote in District 2, qualified as a District 2 County Commission candidate and was elected by District 2 voters in the August 2010 election.
There had been support in the community and among county commissioners to allow Dean to complete his term, which expires Aug. 31, 2014, because the error was not his fault.
Hawkins County Elections Administrator Donna Sharp said that in light of the of the AG opinion, she was advised by the Tennessee Election Commission to place the vacant seat on the Nov. 6, 2012, election ballot.Â
Based on the timing of the AG opinion, nominees of political parties shall be selected by party convention and submitted to the Hawkins County Election commission by Aug. 16 at noon, Sharp said.
Independent candidates must file a petition for candidacy and also meet the Aug. 16 deadline to qualify.
Sharp said the Republican and Democratic parties each have the choice of convening to nominate a candidate who meets the qualifications to serve as a District 2 county commissioner, and the name of each party's candidate will be placed on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
Petitions for independent candidates may be obtained from the Hawkins County Election Office on the second floor Courthouse Annex, 110 E. Main St., Rogersville -- Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
For more information the Election Office may be reached at (423) 272-8061, or e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Precincts included in the County Commission's District 2 are Church Hill Inside, Church Hill Outside, and McPheeter's Bend.
Each of the Hawkins County Commission's seven districts are represented by three members.
District 2 has been down to two members since January when Dean's District 3 residence was discovered and he was asked to stop attending meetings until the issue could be resolved.
District 2 member Jeff Thacker will resign as of Aug. 31 to take over as county property assessor, leaving only one District 2 commissioner -- B.D. Cradic.