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Evely elected Unicoi County Mayor

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Aug 2, 2018 at 11:54 PM

ERWIN — Unicoi County voters elected a new mayor on Thursday, coming out in force for the May 2 Republican Primary winner, Garland “Bubba” Evely.

Evely, who captured 58 percent of the primary vote to unseat three-term incumbent Mayor Greg Lynch, outpaced independent candidates Johnny Day and Richard Preston by margins of more than 3 to 1 in the general election.

The final tally was 2,133 votes for Evely, 629 votes for Preston and 611 votes for Day.

A former Erwin mayor and 20-year veteran of the Unicoi County Board of Education, Evely spent election night at home with his wife and two dogs watching the votes come in via social media. He told the Johnson City Press afterward he now has a lot of work to do.

“I’m glad it turned out like it did and I certainly believe there is a lot to be done,” he said. “There’s great opportunity ahead of us in the next few years to grow the industrial base and to grow the retail base. I’m excited to be getting started.”

“I’m just humbled by all the people who called and ask me to put up signs and all the people who asked me to run. I’m excited to just do the best job we can do for them.”

In the only other contested race for Unicoi County offices, three Republican primary winners vying for three 2nd District seats on the County Commission likewise held off challenges from two independent candidates.

Incumbent 2nd District Commissioners Jason Harris and Glenn White and newcomer Matthew Rice each bested independents Rob Martin and Lisa Brewington White by margins of more than 2 to 1.

Harris led the voting with 741 votes, followed Glenn White with 705 votes and Rice with 70 votes. Martin received 248 votes and Lisa Brewington White received 247 votes.

In the 1st and 2nd District race for four seats on the school board, voters elected uncontested candidates Cathy Thomas, Tammy Edwards Tipton, Steven W. Scott and Steve Willis.

In the 1st and 3rd Unicoi County Commission districts, six Republican nominees — Commissioner Loren Thomas, newcomer Jamie Harris, Commission Chairwoman Marie Rice, Commissioner Todd Wilcox, newcomer Stephen Hendrix and Commissioner John Mosley — were all unopposed in Thursday’s general election.

Other unopposed candidates returned to office by votes of confidence on Thursday were Sheriff Mike Hensley, County Trustee Paul Berry, Circuit Court Clerk Darren Shelton, County Clerk Mitzi Bowen, Register of Deeds Debbie Tittle, Road Superintendent Terry Haynes and constables Arthur Metcalf, Wayne Edwards and Timmy Lewis.

Also unopposed, District Attorney General Ken Baldwin, who was appointed to the office following the unexpected death of Tony Clark, received 2,522 votes in Unicoi County in his bid to serve out Clark’s unexpired term.

Election Administrator Sarah Bailey said all total 3,526 Unicoi County residents, or approximately 34 percent of registered voters, cast votes in the August election.

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