The list of potential candidates for the up-coming county-wide elections in May continues to grow with still a month-and-a-half left before the February deadline to sign up.
Those looking to run for one of the many seats coming open in ‘06 are required to get signatures from 25 registered voters from their district, and turn in their paperwork to the Election Commission Office by Feb. 16.
Recent additions to that list include Max Watson and Charles Frost, Jr who are seeking one of the two 1st District County Commission seats. They, however, face opposition from incumbents Garold Rhea and Warren Hurst.
Van H. Lawson has signed up to run for one of the three 4th District commission seats currently held by Carroll Rauhuff, Ronnie Whaley and Greg Patterson. Both Rauhuff and Whaley have also picked up forms to run for re-election, and Rauhuff has already completed the paper work and returned it to the Election Commission. James D. Bohanan has also picked up a form to run for the position.
Incumbents for the 6th District commission seats, Bill Oakes and Martha Hamilton, along with challengers John Harold Pitner and Bob Lynn Gamble have picked up petitions to run for the seat. Speculation is that another local 6th District resident will be obtaining a petition in the very near future.
Potential candidates for the hotly contested 8th District in Kodak include incumbents Darrell Lee, Mike Hillard and Kent Woods, as well as challengers Ronnie Keener, Leroy Maples and Phil Johnson.
Both Roy Joseph Hodges and Joseph Karl are preparing to run against incumbent David Norton, Jr. for the 9th District seat which includes a section of Seymour. Current office holder Judy Godfrey has not picked up a petition to re-run for the seat. Karl has set up a website—www.VoteJoeKarl.com—to raise awareness for his campaign.
For the 10th District commission seat, James G. Mattern recently picked up a petition to run against incumbents James Dykes and Jim R. Keener who are also potential candidates.
Ray Ogle, incumbent for the 11th District commission seat in Gatlinburg, has already returned his paperwork to run for re-election for the seat for which he is currently uncontested.
There are currently seven potential candidates for the 7th District commission seat for which incumbent Ronnie Allen and challenger Donald L. Parton have already submitted their petitions. Others who are considering running and have picked up paperwork are incumbent Tim Hurst, and challengers Larry Etherton, Duane Dodgen and democratic hopeful Gary T. Eichmann. He is currently the only potential county commission candidate under the democratic ticket.
In other contests, James B. Dunn and Joseph A. Baker were both quick to sign up to fill District Attorney Al Schmutzer’s seat who recently announced that he would not be running for re-election. In fact, Baker picked up his petition the very next day with Dunn following shortly behind. They had both completed their petitions and turned them in by the next week. Brian Delius has been making the rounds confirming that he will be running for the top prosecutors position.
Also, following the announcement from Circuit Court Clerk Janette Ballard saying that she would not be running for re-election, her chief deputy Jan R. Todd picked up a petition to run for the office the very same day.
Stay in tune with The Herald for continuing updates on the Sevier County ’06 Election Season.