BLOUNTVILLE — As of Thursday, State Rep. Tony Shipley (R-District 2) has challengers from within his own party for the right to be on the ballot this fall.
The deadline to file for August party primaries that are the lead-in to state elections in November was noon Thursday.
Shipley had filed in January to seek the GOP nomination to run for re-election. He had no challengers of record until Thursday.
Before the noon cutoff, Nicholas Castle and Bud Hulsey each filed the qualifying paperwork to run for the GOP nod come August.
And J.R. Enfield filed to run as an Independent for the District 2 state representative seat.
Hulsey retired last year from the Kingsport Police Department, as a lieutenant, after 25 years of service with the force.
Shipley was first elected to the District 2 seat in 2008, defeating then-incumbent Nathan Vaughn, a Democrat, by less than one percentage point (50.64% to 49.36%).
In the 2010 election cycle, Shipley was unopposed in the Republican primary, and went on to again defeat Vaughn by a much wider margin (61.92% to 38.08%, with 2.25% of ballot voters not casting a vote in the race).
In the most recent election cycle involving the seat, in 2012, former Kingsport Vice Mayor Ben Mallicote came 10 votes shy of defeating Shipley in the Republican primary — garnering 3,395 votes to Shipley's 3,405 votes.
Shipley isn't the only area state representative to have picked up a challenger this week.
State Rep. Timothy Hill (R-District 3) filed last month to seek the GOP nomination to run for re-election.
On Wednesday, Kevin Parsons filed to run against Hill for the party's nomination.
Voters will decide between the candidates in the Republican primary on Aug. 7.comments powered by Disqus