published Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Franklin County towns' voters choosing their leaders


July 27: Early voting ends. Early voting takes place at the Franklin County Annex in Winchester, Tenn.

Aug. 1: Election day


Winchester: Franklin County Annex and Clark Memorial School

Huntland: Huntland Community Center

Cowan: Cowan Elementary School

Decherd: Decherd Elementary School

Estill Springs: Estill Springs Community Center

Source: Franklin County Election Commission

All but one Franklin County, Tenn., town have contested races on the ballot for Aug. 1 municipal elections.

"Voter interest has been low," Dianne Zimmerman, deputy administrator of elections, said Friday. She said early voting turnout so far has been low, too, even though a couple of mayoral posts are on municipal ballots.

Cowan will have the biggest ballot, with a mayoral contest and three open seats on the City Council, election records show. Winchester, Franklin County's largest city, follows with five candidates vying for three City Council seats.

Huntland voters will decide between an incumbent and challenger for mayor and will choose two winners from three candidates for alderman, while voters in Estill Springs will pick two candidates from four running for alderman.

In Decherd, Don Cofer and Jimmy Wayne Sanders are unopposed for two alderman seats.


In the Franklin County seat of Winchester, voters will pick three councilmen from five candidates. Incumbents William W. "Willie" Womack and Bruce Spencer will face challengers Randy Laszewski, Billy R. Simmons and Gene F. Snead Jr.


In Huntland, incumbent Mayor Terry May faces challenger Patrick Matthews, while Janet Colburn, Aaron Jakubowski and incumbent Cliff Tapley will face off for two alderman seats.


Cowan's mayoral race drew three candidates, Joyce Brown, Bill Denby and Josephine Holman, while Jim Brock, Steven Clark, incumbent Ransom Green, Doris Rempel and Price Tucker are vying for three council seats.


The ballot in Estill Springs has Jim Jernigan, incumbent James David Kelley, incumbent Tommy Pendergraff and J.D. Sons in a showdown for two alderman seats.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at 423-757-6569 or

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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