Multiple potential candidates tossing hats in ring for Sullivan races

J. H. Osborne • Updated Nov 20, 2017 at 2:46 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — If first day pickups are any indication, it’s going to be a crowded ballot for nearly every elected office in Sullivan County government.

Two races are looking crowded already with potential candidates: sheriff and assessor of property. And newcomers have picked up to run for circuit court clerk and commissioner of highways.

Something else that will have people talking: a Kingsport alderman picked up to run for a county commission seat.

Under state law, Friday (Nov. 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.

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 election commission’s website listed the following pickups (and one filing):

Assessor of property

• Randy C. Morrell — Republican. (Morrel is a county commissioner and a former chief deputy assessor in the property assessor’s office.)

• Jack L. Ryan — Republican

• Donna K. Whitaker — Republican

Jerry M. Sorrell — independent (filed)


• 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

Circuit court clerk

• Michael B. Cole — Republican (Cole is a county commissioner now.)

Register of deeds

• Register of Deeds Sheena Ramsey Tinsley — Republican

Commissioner of highways

• Scott Murray — Republican

County Commission, District 1 (one seat)

• Commissioner Randy Morrell — Republican

County Commission, District 2 (three seats)

• Commissioner Cheryl Russell — Republican

• Commissioner Mark A. Vance — Republican

• Miles A. Vance — Republican

• David L. Chapman — Democratic

County Commission, District 4 (three seats)

• Commissioner Michael B. Cole — Republican

• Commissioner Mack Harr — Republican

County Commission, District 6 (three seats)

• Bruce Dotson — Democratic

• James W. (Bill) Jones — Democratic

County Commission, District 7 (two seats)

• Commissioner Baxter Hood — Republican

• Ernie Rumsby — Republican

County Commission, District 9 (two seats)

• Colette George — Republican (George is a Kingsport alderman.)

County Commission, District 10 (two seats)

• Commissioner Bill Kilgore — Republican

• Gary Stidham — Republican

County Commission, District 11 (three seats)

• Commissioner John Gardner — Republican

• Hunter Michael Locke — Republican

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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