published Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Qualifying begins for Hamilton County's November races

POTENTIAL CONTENDERS

The following people have picked up petitions to run for local offices on Nov. 6:

EAST RIDGE COUNCIL (2 seats)

• Denny Manning (incumbent)

• Marc Gravitt

RED BANK COMMISSION (3 seats)

• Eddie Pierce (at large)

SIGNAL MOUNTAIN COUNCIL (3 seats)

• Bill Lusk (incumbent)

LAKESITE COMMISSION (2 seats)

• John McPherson (incumbent)

Other elections:

SODDY-DAISY COMMISSION (3 seats)

WALDEN BOARD OF ALDERMEN (2 seats and mayoral position)

Source: Hamilton County Election Commission

Friday may have been the first day in a five-month marathon to November elections in Hamilton County, but for Marc Gravitt it was the day to get out of the gate early.

By midday Friday, Marc Gravitt had already visited the county's Election Commission twice to pick up and file his qualifying papers to run for East Ridge City Council.

After landing in third place in East Ridge's 2010 elections for two council members, and being passed over for an appointment to a council position vacated by the new mayor, Gravitt is wasting no time this time around.

"Since the last election, I've received a tremendous amount of support and encouragement," Gravitt stated in a news release. "The citizens of East Ridge want an elected official that values the wants and needs of the people, not special interests."

Sixteen seats in six local municipal governments will be up for grabs in the Nov. 6 election: East Ridge, Red Bank, Soddy-Daisy, Signal Mountain, Walden and Lakesite.

Longtime East Ridge Councilman Denny Manning also picked up papers Friday.

"I want to do the same thing I've done for other my seven other years in office," said Manning, 67. "I want to help the city and help the employees and financialwise I want to see our city go on up. Right now things are looking better for us."

Councilman Darwin Branam, who was appointed to the seat Gravitt hoped to gain in 2011, said he has yet to decide whether he will run.

Eyeing a commission post in Red Bank, Eddie Pierce picked up papers for the at-large commission seat. Earlier this year he applied for a temporary commission seat, but commissioners later named Ken Welch to the position.

Additionally, Signal Mountain Mayor Bill Lusk picked up his petition for his Signal Mountain town council seat, while Lakesite Vice Mayor John McPherson also has picked up his.

The deadline to turn those papers with at least 25 signatures is Aug. 16 at noon.

"I'm not in any hurry," said Soddy-Daisy Commissioner Shane Harmon, who is planning to run for re-election. "We've got a while before this all gets rolling."

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