This year there are 21 offices that need a decision by the registered voters of Sevier County. Some consider these elections even more important than the Presidential Election since the local politician can and does affect the local people more so than national politicians.
The big surprises this year are Incumbent Al Schmutzer Jr. has announced he will not run for reelection and likewise, Janette Layman Ballard has announced she will not seek reelection as circuit court clerk.
In a surprise turn of events in the race for the Attorney General office, Bryan Delius had previously announced his intention to run for district attorney general, but he had a change of heart. Delius’s family, with a new baby, has decided not to run. He is putting all of his support behind Joe Baker, also a candidate for that office. To date, Jimmy Dunn and Baker are the only two running for the office. Dunn is an assistant district attorney general serving in Cocke County under General Schmutzer Jr.
Deputy Clerk Jan Todd and legal secretary Rita Ellison have petitions to run for the circuit court clerk seat in the Republican primary. Ellison’s petition was returned Dec. 29.Sevier County Sheriff Montgomery will have at least two opponents this year if Steve Layman turns in the petitions he picked up. Dean Lewis, also running for Sheriff, has turned in his petition.
Jonas Smelcer, Sevier County Road Superintendent also has an opponent, Patrick J. Koerick who has picked up a petition.
The people in the know claim that it’s a surprise that people are running against the incumbents.
An important fact that must be remembered is that even though a candidate has picked up a petition and turned it in on or before February 16, they must also qualify according to the requirements of the office. Just anyone can’t become road superintendent, attorney general, or sheriff. There are certain qualifications that must be met.
The Herald Newspapers will continue to publish, at no charge, any and all submitted announcements, with or without pictures, by candidates running for office.