published Sunday, May 4th, 2014

Tuesday is primary election day in Hamilton County

Beth Hamrick, bottom left, aids Taylor Walden, 18, as she votes for the first time at the Hamilton County Election Commission on Thursday.
Beth Hamrick, bottom left, aids Taylor Walden, 18, as she votes for the first time at the Hamilton County Election Commission on Thursday.
Photo by Dan Henry.

TIME TO VOTE

Polls will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT on Tuesday.

GET RESULTS QUICKLY

See up-to-the-minute coverage of hot races and breaking news at www.timesfreepress.com and complete results in Wednesday's print and online editions.

Anyone who can't find some office or candidate to vote for in the once-every-eight-years primary election Tuesday just isn't trying.

It's the regular party primary election in the four-year cycle for county constitutional offices -- mayors, sheriffs, clerks and county commissioners.

But this time the ballot also has primaries for state judges, district attorneys and public defenders, who serve for eight years.

It makes for a long ballot.

Hamilton County voters will be choosing among Republican nominees for Circuit Court judge, chancellor in Part 1 of Chancery Court, Circuit Court clerk, sheriff and county mayor along with several contested county commission seats.

Sheriff Jim Hammond faces a challenge from one of his own, Internal Affairs sergeant Chris Harvey.

Longtime 7th District County Commissioner Larry Henry is leaving the seek and vying with Lisa Zarzour Bowman and Ron Parson for the Circuit Court clerk position.

In most cases, the primary winner will make the Aug. 7 county general election a mere formality, since Democratic candidates are thin on the ground this time around.

Only three countywide offices -- Criminal Court judge, Division 3; public defender and Criminal Court clerk -- have Democratic contenders.

It's not much different in many surrounding Southeast Tennessee counties, though the dominant party might be blue rather than red.

High-profile races in the region include the Republican primary for the 10th Judicial District Attorney and sheriff's contests in Bradley, Bledsoe and McMinn counties.

Grundy County has a five-way Democratic primary in the county mayor race and five people are up for register of deeds in Marion County. Four Republicans are vying for the right to face the lone Democrat in the Monroe County mayor's race.

Incumbents and challengers who qualified in February for state and U.S. House and Senate races will hold their primaries Aug. 7 ahead of the Nov. 4 general election.

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