The Unicoi County Commission had seven candidates to consider for an empty seat Monday night, but five didn’t have a chance after the second candidate in alphabetical order received the required votes.
The open seat was vacated by Glenn White when he was elected as mayor of Erwin in November.
Brian Delp won the verbal election with a 6-2 vote. He will be sworn in later this week.
Candidate names were presented in three ways — themselves, from citizens and from commissioners — but to get on the voice ballot, a commissioner had to make an official nomination.
The six candidates, in alphabetical order, were Melvin Cooper, Delp, Michael Harris, Cory Hatcher, Scott Hatcher, Rochelle Shults and Gary Swinkey. The last five didn’t get voted on after Delp won the commission’s approval.
In a short presentation to the commission, Delp said he was a school teacher and small business owner and church elder.
“I’m here for the people of Unicoi County,” he said, adding that he planned to make “wise decisions on finances.”
After the meeting, Mayor Bubba Evely said he believes Delp will be a good match for the commission.
“I think we had some excellent candidates,” Everly said. “I think Brian will make an excellent commissioner. He had an excellent background and education.”
Delp previously ran for election to the commission, but did not win.
In other action, the board approved support for a legislative action that will allow Erwin Utilities to provide broadband service to three pockets of the county that currently have no internet accessibility.
Lee Brown presented the request, which must have county-wide approval before the legislation can be submitted. Brown obtained approval last week from the town of Unicoi.
Also, the commission approved purchase of a one-acre plot of land on Highway 107 that adjoins the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency property along the Nolichucky River.
The area will be used as a parking lot and provide river access to water enthusiasts.