In Surgoinsville Mayor Merrell Graham is seeking a second term, but he is being challenged by former alderman Larry Dykes. Bulls Gap also has a contested mayoral race between current alderman Betsy Shipley and Bulls Gap VFD Chief Charles "Chucky" Johnson.
As of the end of business hours Monday, Surgoinsville had only one candidate qualified for its three contested alderman seats; Church Hill had only one candidate qualified for its three alderman seats; and Bulls Gap had only one candidate qualified for its two alderman seats.
The two big names that were ousted in Thursday's county general election were Budget Committee chairman Stacy Vaughan in District 3; and Budget Committee member Bob Palmer in District 7.
At one time Bailey and Hicks sat beside each other on the Hawkins County Commission — Bailey as mayor and Hicks and Budget Committee chairman. Bailey's chances probably weren't helped by the fact that the highly unpopular 2017 $40 wheel tax came on his watch.
Todd McKinley is one of four candidates in the Republican primary for United States House of Representatives, 1st Congressional District. The Republican primary is Thursday, Aug. 2.
This is Hawkins County's biggest county general election in the four year cycle with nearly every county office up for grabs, as well as all 21 county commission seats and four school board seats.
“Industrial growth is the key to reducing the tax burden on our citizens. I think the mayor’s responsibility is to promote and sale our beautiful county to all new comers.” — Kelly Markham
Tourism is the key. ... By working with State Tourism Bureau, Private Bus Tour Companies, Hawkins County can be a stopping point at various locations and prosper from monies spent.” — Roy Spears
“The ultimate goal is to give the best service to Hawkins County citizens for the least amount of taxes. There are places we can cut spending and still have the services that the people deserve.” — Jim Lee
“Another priority is to institute planning, short and long term, in every aspect of county business. Another priority is the preservation and enhancement of our scenic and naturally beautiful landscape to attract tourists.” — Danny Breeding
“Hawkins County has weathered many storms in the past and the citizens of our county are ready for growth, success and pride of their county again.” — Dennis Deal
“I will try to lower taxes. I will work together with the Industrial Board and our state government including the Governor's office to promote Hawkins County to not only bring in industry but retail and restaurants to our area.” — David Bailey
“Unlike all of the other candidates running for county mayor I know how to eliminate the wheel tax, increase county revenues without increasing taxes and provide more funding for the Firefighters EMS and the Humane Society.” — John Neubert
Elections Administrator Donna Sharp is encouraging all Hawkins County voters to take advantage of early voting and avoid potential long lines on election day.
Every Hawkins County municipality has an election on Nov. 6, but to get their name on the ballot candidates much have their petition turned in and approved at the Hawkins County Election Office by Aug. 16 at noon.