Carter primary draws 50 candidates...so far

John Thompson • Dec 26, 2017 at 9:36 PM

ELIZABETHTON — There are now 50 candidates who have picked up petitions from the Carter County Election Commission in order to run in the Republican or Democratic primaries for county offices.

The primaries will by held May 1. There is still plenty of time left for other candidates to enter the contest, and more are expected. The deadline to qualify for the races is Thursday, Feb. 15.

Each person seeking to run in the primary must return the petition signed by 25 registered voters.

The county will hold primaries for both the Republican and Democratic parties this year. The winners in each primary will then move on to represent their party in the Aug. 2 county general election.

Candidates who will run as independents in the general election will not run in the primaries, but must also have their petitions with 25 signatures turned in by Feb. 15.

With the deadline still seven weeks away, there are several prominent candidates who have not yet picked up petitions. Those who have and the office they are seeking is as follows:

County Mayor

• Rusty Barnett

• Larry Shell

• Danny Ward

Rusty Barnett currently serves as chairman of the Carter County School Board. He is a professional firefighter who is the deputy chief of the Elizabethton Fire Department.

Larry Shell currently oversees security at the Elizabethton Electric Department and formerly served as deputy chief of the Elizabethton Police Department.

Danny Ward is a county commissioner from the 4th District and is employed as assistant manager at the Food City supermarket in Elizabethton. Leon Humphrey is the current mayor and is expected to run for a third term, but has not yet picked up his petition.


• Rocky Croy

• Dexter Lunceford

Lunceford is the current sheriff. He was elected sheriff in 2014. He previously retired from a career as a trooper in the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Croy recently retired as a captain with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department, where he served his whole career.

Register of Deeds

• Jarrod Ellis

• Jessica Markland

• Adam Townsend

Edrie “Jody” Bristol has decided to retire as register of deeds. Jessica Markland serves as Bristol’s deputy register. Jarrod Ellis in the owner of J’s Corner restaurant in Elizabethton. Adam Townsend is a retired professional mixed martial artist.

County Clerk

• Mary Gouge

• Patsy Lewis

• Bruce Pierce


• Randal Lewis

• Walter F. Andrews Jr. will run in August as independent

Highway Superintendent

• Roger Colbaugh

Circuit Court Clerk

• Johnny Blankenship

County Commission

1st District

• Robert Acuff

• Steven M. Blevins

• Willie Campbell

2nd District

• John Babb

• Richard Guinn

• Mike Hill

• Al Meehan

3rd District

• Brad Johnson

• Kelvin G. Moffett

• Ronnie Trivett

• Charles Von Cannon will run in August as an independent

4th District

• Isaiah Grindstaff

5th District

• Ross Garland

6th District

• Donnie C. Cable

• Travis W. Hill

• Randall Jenkins

8th District

• Myles Cook

• Robin McKamey

• Rick Richardson will run in August as independent


1st District

• Ronald E. Reed

2nd District

• Barney Brown

• Roy Coffey

• Leonard Johnson

• Brian Keener

3rd District

• Scotty Hall

• Jerry Miller

4th District

• Jason Jones

• Tim Lyons

• Harvey Shaffer

5th District

• Mark Carrier

• Larry Presnell

6th District

• John Henson

• Bobby Trivette

7th District

• Gabriel Seth Babb

• Ken Potter

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