List of potential candidates, candidates who've filed, grows

J. H. Osborne • Dec 26, 2017 at 9:30 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — With less than eight weeks until the filing deadline, it’s looking like a potentially crowded ballot for upcoming elections in Sullivan County. And there’s likely to be turnover in several key offices as multiple longtime incumbents have indicated they won’t seek reelection.

County Mayor Richard Venable, who has filed to seek reelection — but has possible challengers who’ve picked up petitions to run for mayor — has said the county’s general election in August could bring the most change throughout county government in recent memory.

Under state law, November 17 was the first day would-be candidates for offices on the 2018 ballot to pick up paperwork at the Sullivan County Election Commission. Picking up means they were issued a petition to qualify. To finish the process, they have to get at least 25 signatures from registered voters and file the petition with the election office. The deadline to file is February 15, 2018 at noon.

If they file by the deadline and have enough valid signatures (those will be verified by election office staff), candidates will appear on the ballot for party primaries in May — with one possible exception: a new Republican Party rule, instituted at the state level, gives the GOP the right to only allow someone to run in the party’s primary if they’ve voted in at least three of the party’s last four primaries.

As of this election, both parties will hold primaries for all the major offices, including the Sullivan County Commission. For the 24 commission seats, this marks the first time the Democrats have held primaries.

As of close of business Friday, the have picked up (and filed):

Circuit Court Judge, Part 2

• William K. Rogers, Republican (filed).

County Mayor

• Dave Clark, Republican.

• Richard Venable, Republican (filed).

• Gerald L. Sensabaugh Jr., Independent.

Assessor of Property

• Randy C. Morrell, Republican.

• Jack L. Ryan, Republican.

• Donna K. Whitaker, Republican (filed).

• Jerry M. Sorrell, Independent (filed).


• Caroline Cabell, Republican.

• Chris Fauver, picked up two petitions: one to run as a Republican, the other to run as an Independent.

• Terri Miller Hurd, Republican (filed).

• Matthew Jerry Johnson, Republican (filed).

• Susan Arnold Ramsey, Republican.


• Sheriff Wayne Anderson, Republican.

• Matt Austin, Republican.

• Jeffrey Cassidy,  picked up two petitions: one to run as a Republican, the other to run as an Independent.

• Joe Earles, Republican.

Circuit Court Clerk

• Bobby L. Russell, Republican (filed).

• Travis Ward, Republican (filed).

Register of Deeds

• Register of Deeds Sheena Ramsey Tinsley — Republican

County Clerk

• Chelsea Gammon Ketron, Republican.

• Amy Nelson, Republican.

• Cheryl Russell, Republican.

• Mark A. Vance, Republican.

• Jane Davis, Democratic.

Commissioner of Highways

• Commissioner of Highways Jim Belgeri, Republican (filed).

• Scott Murray, Republican (filed). 

County Attorney

• County Attorney Dan Street, Republican (filed).

 In addition to the office above, all 24 seats on the Sullivan County Commission are up for election in 2018.

The party primaries will be held in May. The winners will move on to the county’s general election in August.

For more information, visit www.scelect.org.

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