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Unicoi roundup: 5 new faces on County Commission

August 8th, 2014 12:13 am by Brad Hicks

Unicoi roundup: 5 new faces on County Commission

ERWIN — It was already known that big changes were in store for the Unicoi County Commission with Thursday’s general election, and five new members will join the nine-member panel.

Each of the county’s three districts is represented by three seats on the commission. There were no changes to the seats representing the first district, as only the district’s three incumbent commissioners, who won the the Republican primary, appeared on the ballot. These candidates were current commission Chairman Marie Rice, Loren Thomas and Gene Wilson. Rice received 631 votes, Thomas received 501 votes and Wilson received 521 votes, according to unofficial totals.

Two new commissioners will now represent the county’s second district on the commission. Jason Harris and Glenn White were among the five candidates who appeared on the general election ballot and represent two of the three winners of the Republican Primary. Harris received 594 votes, and White received 705 votes. Harris and White will be joined in representing the second district by incumbent Commissioner Kenneth Garland, who received 644 votes.

Two Democratic candidates — Rob Martin and Richard A. Smith — also appeared on the ballot for second-district voters. Martin received 274 votes, and Smith received 229 votes, according to unofficial totals.

The county’s third district will be represented by three new commissioners, as none of the incumbents representing the district sought re-election. Walter Garland, John Mosley and Bridget Peters, all winners of the May Republican primary, were elected Thursday to represent the third district. Garland received 783 votes, Mosley received 624 votes and Peters received 650 votes.

The newly elected commissioners will begin their terms Sept. 1.

Several county offices were uncontested on Thursday’s ballot, and all the incumbents holding these offices were re-elected. Each candidate appearing on the ballot in the unopposed races were also the winners of the Republican primary. County Sheriff Mike Hensley received 2,493 votes. Circuit Court Clerk Darren Shelton received 2,759 votes. County Clerk Mitzi Bowen received 2,766 votes. Trustee Paul Berry received 2,968 votes. Register of Deeds Debbie Tittle received 2,841 votes, Sessions Court Judge David R. Shults received 2,713 votes, and Superintendent of Roads Terry Haynes received 2,746 votes.

Each of the county’s districts is also represented by a constable, and these races were unopposed on Thursday’s ballot. Howard Riddle was elected as first-district constable, receiving 707 votes. Gary Wayne Edwards was elected to serve the second district. Edwards received 901 votes. Timmy Lewis was elected as third-district constable, receiving 895 votes.

The races to represent the county’s first and third districts on the county Board of Education were also decided Thursday. Each district is represented by two seats on the board, and the top two vote-getters in the first district were former board member Garland “Bubba” Evely and Cathy Thomas. Evely received 589 votes and Thomas received 380 votes. Incumbent board member Victor Price, the other candidate who appeared on the ballot for first-district voters, received 325 votes.

Four candidates were seeking two seats to represent the county’s third distirct, and the top two vote-getters were Dwight Bennett and Steve Willis. Bennett received 628 votes and Willis received 510 votes. The other two candidates who appeared on the ballot, Troy Clark and Norman O’ Dell, received 298 votes and 393 votes, respectively.

Seats on the board are staggered, and representation for the second district will be decided in 2016. Terms on the Board of Education run for four years.

A total of 3,367 Unicoi Countians voted in Thursday’s election, according to unofficial totals.

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