Speropulos exits Washington Co. Commission

Gary B. Gray • Jul 8, 2014 at 10:42 AM

Pete Speropulos, Washington County Commission District 1 incumbent, will not seek a fourth term in the Aug. 7 county general election.

Speropulos resigned July 3. His name will remain on the ballot, but he is for all intents and purposes no longer a commissioner.

“I really, really appreciate all the support, and I’ve enjoyed working with the County Commission,” he said Monday. “I’ve moved out of the district, which obviously makes me ineligible. My wife and I had been looking at some property, and we decided to buy a small farm in Sulphur Springs.”

Barring a successful write-in, Speropulos’ exit locks in the district’s three commissioners: Republicans Greg Matherly and Rick Storey and independent Jonathan Griffith.

Speropulos, Matherly and Storey advanced to the general election by gaining the top three spots in the May 6 Republican county primary. Incumbent Doyle Cloyd missed the mark and did not move on to the August election. “There was nothing that transpired during the election that prompted this, my wife and I just decided to do this,” Speropulos added. “I would like to be on the commission again. I’m in the 7th District now, but I won’t think about it for another four years.”

Matherly, the current County Commission chairman, accepted Speropulos’ resignation.

“Pete’s been a good commissioner, and I think he’s done a great job,” he said. “I don’t think the County Commission will fill the vacancy, since you would technically be appointing a new commissioner about a week before they are sworn in.”

Sowers ran unsuccessfully as a candidate for what is now Tennessee’s 6th House District and for a seat on the County Commission’s 1st District during the last election.

Griffith has never run for public office.

Speropulos is now the fifth incumbent to leave the County Commission and the 10th of 25 who won’t be returning in 2015.

District 5 Commissioners Ken Lyon and Ethan Flynn stepped down in February. Telford’s Pat Wolfe, a familiar face on the Washington County Commission for 16 years, withdrew from the District 9 race about one week later. Finally, David Shanks, who won the right to advance to the Aug. 7 election, stepped down from his District 9 seat for personal reasons.

Five additional incumbents failed to make it through the May 6 Republican primary, including Cloyd (District 5); Alpha Bridger (District 3); Mark Ferguson and Gearld Sparks (District 6); and Roger Nave (District 7).

Speropulos was born in Johnson City and attended Science Hill High School. He joined the U.S. Army and served from 1975-79. He later graduated from ETSU with a bachelor’s degree in geosciences and formed Speropulos Construction while he was still in school.

In 2007, he obtained his commercial insurance license, and he maintains that occupation today working with business to establish liability and worker’s compensation plans.

Follow Gary B. Gray on Twitter @ggrayjcpress. Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/garybgrayjcp.

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