ELIZABETHTON — Most of the attention in the upcoming November election is on the presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, but there are several other important races taking place.
In Carter County, not only is the national election taking place, but also two municipal elections and a couple of county races are also being contested. But perhaps the biggest local position won’t be decided until a couple of weeks after the Nov. 3 election.
Candidates have not yet been set for a race which will get a lot of attention in Carter County — the Carter County Commission will select a new mayor of Carter County on Nov. 23 in a special meeting to be held at 6 p.m. at the gymnasium of Hampton High School. The office is vacant because of the sudden death of Mayor Rusty Barnett in August. The person selected will serve the final two years of Barnett’s term.
While there are several local elections in the county and races for state senator and state representative, many of the seats are uncontested. This is especially true of the legislative bodies for the cities of Elizabethton and Watauga.
All three incumbents for the Elizabethton City Council are running for reelection and are unopposed. They are: Mayor Curt Alexander and councilmen Kim Birchfield and Jeff Treadway,
The story is similar in Watauga, where Dennis Hicks, Richard Dale McCracken and Timothy Scott Peer are running for three seats and are unopposed.
There is opposition in the other Elizabethton races.
Jason Holly and Teresa Murray Smith are running for Elizabethton municipal judge. They are seeking to complete the remaining two years of the term of Judge T.J. Little, who died late last year. Both Holly and Smith have served as judge part of this year. Holly had been appointed by City Council in February and served until Smith won a primary election in August.
There are also five candidates for three seats on the Elizabethton City School Board. Phil Isaacs is the only incumbent seeking another term. Two other current board members, Chairwoman Rita Booher and board member Grover May chose not to run for another term. Joining Isaacs on the ballot are newcomers Jeffrey R. Bohlke, Jamie Bass Schaff, Gen Treadway, and Mike “Coach” Wilson.
There are also a few Carter Countians on the western edge of the county who will vote in the Johnson City municipal elections.
Residents of the county’s 7th Commission District will also have the opportunity to vote for a new member to the Carter County Commission. Daniel McInturff and Jimmy Pierce are seeking to fill the two remaining years on the term of Ray Lyons, who stepped down due to health problems.
There are a few contested races in Carter County for the Tennessee Senate and Tennessee House of Representatives. In Tennessee’s 4th Senate District, incumbent Republican Jon Lundberg faces a challenge from Democrat Amber Riddle.
In the House of Representatives District 4, incumbent Republican John Holsclaw Jr. faces a challenge from Democrat Bobby Patrick Harrell. Scotty Campbell is seeking a return to the 3rd District House seat that was vacated by Timothy Hill. He is the Republican nominee and is unopposed.