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Sullivan County sheriff candidate withdraws; GOP boots Rumsby

March 9th, 2014 10:00 pm by J. H. Osborne

Sullivan County sheriff candidate withdraws; GOP boots Rumsby

BLOUNTVILLE — A withdrawal and a party rejection have changed things in at least two races in upcoming party primaries and for the county general election in August.

Incumbent Sheriff Wayne Anderson will face challenger Ty Boomershine, a former sheriff’s employee and sitting county commissioner, in the Republican primary. John Taylor is the sole candidate for the Democratic nomination.

Joe “Joey” Miller had filed and qualified to run as an Independent on the August ballot, but withdrew between the filing deadline and the withdrawal deadline a week later.

County Commission District 7 has two seats. Four candidates filed for the Republican primary, each with enough signatures on their paperwork to have qualified in that regard.

But the state Republican Party later ruled one of those would-be candidates is not a “bona fide Republican” and, therefore, threw him out of the race.

This year is only the second time voters have gone to the polls for county commission races since the county GOP opted to make those races partisan.

On Feb. 27, Tennessee GOP Chairman Chris Devaney sent Ernie Rumsby a letter, which read, in part:

“You may know, the Tennessee Republican Party, per the authority given to it in (state law), requires candidates seeking the Party’s nomination for public office to be bona fide Republicans. These requirements can be found in Article IX Section 1 of The Bylaws and Rules of the Tennessee Republican Party.

“As you are aware, a challenge was made to the bona fide Republican status of your candidacy for Sullivan County Commission. I have reviewed the documentation and made the final decision to uphold the challenge to your bona fide Republican status. Therefore, you will not be permitted to run as a Republican in the May primary.”

The section of the state Republican Party’s bylaws cited by Devaney reads:

“The following shall be Party membership requirements for candidacy to public office, and appointment to positions such as Election Commission. The TRP hereby defines the term ‘bona fide Republican,’ or the like, as: A. Any individual who is actively involved in the Tennessee Republican Party, his County Republican Party, or any of recognized auxiliary organizations of either; or B. Any individual who has voted in at least two (2) of the four (4) most recent state and/or local Republican primary elections; or C. Any individual who is vouched for to the satisfaction of the State Executive Committee as a bona fide Republican, such as be an officer of the TRP, a member of the Executive Committee, the Republican Party of the County where the individual resides, or a Republican elected official. The State Chairman may require additional verification that the individual in question is indeed a bona fide Republican, and shall have final authority to make the determination.”

As it looks now, incumbent Baxter Hood will square off in the GOP primary with April Mumpower and Angie Stanley — and two will advance to the August ballot.

Independents are: incumbent James “Moe” Brotherton, former County Commissioner Samuel C. Jones, and Lori Love.

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