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Commissioner pulls out of race after close second in primary

June 11th, 2014 8:56 pm by Gary B. Gray

Commissioner pulls out of race after close second in primary

David Shanks

Washington County Commissioner David Shanks has withdrawn from the Aug. 7 county general election, citing personal reasons.

Shanks finished a close second in the May 6 Republican primary in the 9th Commission District race to newcomer Todd Hensley and was on his way to a runoff between Hensley and former County Commissioner Danny Edens, an independent. The top two vote-getters would have served the district.

“I am removing my name for consideration in the August election,” said Shanks, who is wrapping up his first, four-year term. “I want to thank the constituents of the ninth district for allowing me the honor of serving them the past four years. My best regards to Danny Edens and Todd Hensley as they work to serve the ninth district in the coming years.”

Shanks’ withdrawal leaves the two open seats to Edens and Hensley.

Commissioner Pat Wolfe, who was serving the 9th District alongside Shanks, decided not to seek another term a few months before the Republican primary.

“This comes as a surprise, because it seemed to me he was enjoying being a commissioner,” Wolfe said. “It must have been a serious personal matter. He certainly has been a responsible commissioner. We’ve corresponded on various issues and helped get them resolved. I’d have to say he’s been quite good.”

The 9th is a large and mostly rural area. It is located on the southeastern part of the county and includes a slice of Telford, as well as the Conklin, West View and Embreeville communities. It has 9,378 inhabitants.

Shanks, 65, was born in Greeneville but has lived in Washington County his entire life. He is a Sulphur Springs High School graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University in industrial education. He taught in both the Washington and Sullivan county school systems .

Shanks worked for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. in Greeneville in its Archer Division. He also served for three years as the town of Jonesborough’s development council director.

The bulk of his career was spent with Alliance for Business and Training as an employment counselor. He retired five years ago as its executive director and raises cattle on three small farms.

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