Surgenor to challenge Lundberg for state House seat

J. H. Osborne • Apr 3, 2008 at 12:00 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — The qualifying deadline for the August ballot, which includes two Sullivan County Commission seats and four seats on the Sullivan County Board of Education, was noon Thursday.

It was also the filing deadline for candidates who want to be on the August primary ballots for state House, state Senate and Congress — and a county commissioner joined one of those races Thursday. Party primary winners will face off in November.

County Commissioner Michael Surgenor filed to run in the Democratic primary to become the party’s candidate for Tennessee House of Representatives, District 1. That seat is held by Jon Lundberg, R-Bristol. Lundberg is seeking re-election.

In other races for the state House:

• District 2 — Incumbent state Rep. Nathan Vaughn, D-Kingsport, is seeking re-election. Republican Tony Shipley of Kingsport is seeking his party’s nomination to challenge Vaughn in November.

• District 3 — Incumbent state Rep. Jason Mumpower, R-Bristol, is seeking re-election. He has no challengers from Sullivan County.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, R-Blountville, is seeking re-election to the Tennessee Senate, 2nd District. Kingsport’s James W. Jones has filed to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Ramsey.

And two Kingsport Democrats — Robert A. Russell and Michael A. Donihe — have filed in Sullivan County to seek the party’s nomination to run in November for the 1st District U.S. House of Representatives seat held by David Davis, R-Johnson City.

Davis is seeking re-election and faces challenges from other counties within the 1st District, including Washington County (see related story).

All four Sullivan County BOE members whose seats are on the ballot filed petitions to seek re-election. None has a challenger at this point, although the deadline for write-in candidates doesn’t roll around until mid-June.

The four BOE members who will be on the August ballot are:

• District 1 — Jack Bales.

• District 3 — Jim Kiss.

• District 5 — Ron Smith.

• District 7 — Betty Combs.

In all, seven candidates filed to run for two County Commission seats on the August ballot — two people for one seat, and five for the other seat.

In August, voters in two County Commissioner districts will elect replacements to finish out unexpired terms of commissioners who died in recent months:

• District 3, in the Bristol area, voters will elect someone to finish out the term of Ralph Harr, who died in late 2007. The County Commission appointed his son, Jon Harr, to fill the seat until the election in August.

• District 6, in the Bloomingdale area, voters will elect someone to finish out the term of Howard Patrick, who died earlier this year. The County Commission appointed his wife, Pat Patrick, to fill the seat until the election in August.

Neither Harr nor Patrick picked up the necessary paperwork to try and hold those seats past August.

By noon Thursday, two people filed to run for Harr’s commission seat: Bart Long, 711 Holston Ave., Bristol; and Robert W. Neal, 361 Blountville Hwy.

Five people filed to run for Patrick’s seat: Bobby E. Brooks, 111 Chateaugay Road; former County Commissioner Larry Hall, 1314 Childress Ferry Road; Matthew J. Johnson, 413 Ferncliff Drive; Rodger K. Jones, 216 New Beason Well Road; and Craig Ramey, 616 Newland Ave.

The August ballot also includes races for all the county’s constable districts.

Candidates who filed in Sullivan County have until noon April 10 to withdraw from the ballot. The Sullivan County Election Commission is scheduled to meet at that time to certify the ballots for the August elections — the county’s general election, the Democratic primary and the Republican primary.

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