Mayor Humphrey picks up papers for re-election bid

John Thompson • Jan 2, 2018 at 9:44 PM

ELIZABETHTON — One of the early topics of discussion in the May 1 Carter County primaries was that County Mayor Leon Humphrey had not yet picked up his petition papers to run in the election.

“I had a lot of people come up to me and encourage me to run again,” Humphrey said on Tuesday. “I heard there was talk out there that the mayor was tired of it all and wasn’t going to run this time.”

All that talk will be ending. On Tuesday morning, Humphrey took the short trip from the courthouse to the Election Commission to pick up his paperwork, including blank sheets for a petition signed by registered voters that he must collect.

When three other mayoral candidates already making the trip to the Election Commission office to pick up their petitions, the conversation began on why Humphrey had not been in.

He gave two reasons for waiting. One was that “the mayor’s office isn’t like it used to be.” They said in the past the people in the office worked about 36 and a half hours a week. “We work 60 hours a week,” plus we have been holding town hall meetings across the county.”

The other reason was that the first day to pick up petitions was Nov. 17. “That was right in the midst of Thanksgiving, and then we had the Christmas season. Now that its the new year, its time get going,” Humphrey said.

There other mayoral candidates who have picked up papers are:

• Rusty Barnett, who 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, who currently oversees security at the Elizabethton Electric Department and formerly served as deputy chief of the Elizabethton Police Department.

• Danny Ward, who is a county commissioner from the 4th District and is employed as assistant manager at the Food City supermarket in Elizabethton.

In the past week there has also been an additional candidate pick up papers for the sheriff’s race. Steve Stevenson has picked up papers that would include him in the race with current Sheriff Dexter Lunceford and Rocky Cory, a retired captain with the sheriff’s department.

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