published Monday, April 21st, 2014

Grundy County, Tenn., primaries have eight contested races

KEY VOTER DATES

• April 29: Last day an administrator of elections can process absentee ballot applications

• May 1: Last day of early voting

• May 6: Election day. Polling hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT

Source: Grundy County Election Commission

The primary ballot in Grundy County, Tenn., has eight contested local races and a total of 29 candidates.

Incumbents face challenges in races for county mayor, sheriff, road superintendent, county clerk and County Commission districts 2 and 3, election records show. Candidates in the trustee and Circuit Court clerk races are newcomers.

In County Commission District 1, three unopposed Democrats and three unopposed Republicans will contend for the three open seats in August.

Administrator of Elections Donna Basham said early voting was steady so far.

"The first day and yesterday we had 390, and for a small county like this that's pretty good," Basham said Friday. "There's been a lot of voter interest in the last six months. A lot of people have been calling to check their voter registration."

The county primary "always generates a lot of interest," she said.

MAYOR

For county mayor, two women and three men -- Michael Brady, incumbent Lonnie D. Cleek, Wanda J. Meeks, Emily C. Partin and Ralph E. Rieben -- are vying for the Democratic nod. The winner will face Republican Aubrey L. Harper in August. Brady and Partin are current county commissioners, and Rieben is a former county commissioner.

SHERIFF

The sheriff's primary didn't draw any Republicans, but Democrats David Brent Myers, the incumbent; Lindell C. Shrum and Deke M. Stone will vie for the right to face independent candidate Russell Baker in August.

COUNTY CLERK

Democratic candidate Tammy A. Sholey, the incumbent, will face Nathan L. Sanders for the county clerk post. No Republican is running.

CIRCUIT COURT CLERK, TRUSTEE, ROAD SUPERINTENDENT

Democrats Melody J. Oliver and Kelly D. Ruehling are facing off for the right to take on Republican Latosha K. Barrett for Circuit Court clerk.

Four Democrats -- Linda S. Childers, April M. Fults, Sonya D. Garner and Tyler L . McCullough -- are vying for trustee. No Republican is seeking the seat.

No Republican is running for road superintendent, either, meaning the race will be decided in the Democratic primary between Johnny R. Fults, incumbent Hubert Dewayne Hargis and Michael E. Meeks.

COUNTY COMMISSION

Two of the county's three County Commission districts have contested races for the three seats up in each of those districts.

In District 2, a six-way showdown between Democrats Gary S. Brewer, Daniel T. Crabtree, Dennis A. Jones, Jared D. Meeks, Robert M. Short and Billy D. Smartt will decide the three seats. No Republican ran.

In District 3, Democrats William D. Griswold, Theron E. Gross, John W. Hargis and Charles M. Rollins are vying for the seat. Again, there was no Republican candidate.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569.

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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