The field of candidates for the August general election and primaries was set Thursday, and barring any dropouts, some hotly contested races will appear on the ballot.
The qualifying deadline was Thursday at noon, and only a handful of candidates made it interesting after filing petition papers only hours prior. The only exception to the Thursday deadline was the post for sheriff candidates, which had a March 20 deadline. Without opposition, it appears Sheriff Robert Bryan will begin his first full term after he was appointed by the Wilson County Commission early last year.
According to Assistant Administrator of Elections Tammy Smith, the ballot won’t become official until April 10 at noon, which is the withdraw deadline for candidates wishing to back out.
With all 25 county commission seats up for grabs, along with many of the local, district and statewide races to appear on the August ballot, voters will have plenty of choices to make during the Aug. 7 election.
Several candidates, however, did not receive opposition and will likely retain their respective seats. They include Division I Circuit Court Judge Clara Byrd, District Attorney Tommy Thompson, Public Defender Comer Donnell, Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, District 5 Commissioner Jerry McFarland, District 17 Commissioner Gary Keith, District 18 Commissioner Terry Muncher, District 19 Commissioner Annette Stafford, Division I General Sessions Judge Barry Tatum, Division III General Sessions Judge John Gwin, County Clerk Jim Goodall, Register of Deeds John “Bev” Spickard, Zone 2 Wilson County Board of Education member Bill Robinson, Zone 5 Board of Education member Larry Tomlinson, Zone 2 Constable Wesley W. Thompson III, Zone 3 Constable Glenn Oco Hamblen, Zone 4 Constable Jenny Lenning-Faulk, Zone 5 Constable Ronnie Greer and Lebanon Board of Education member Andy Brummett.
Some of the more interesting races include those for Wilson County Commission with a handful of new names likely to appear on the ballot due to redistricting following the 2010 election.
“Redistricting did affect a few races for commission seats,” Smith said.
Former District 18 Commissioner Adam Bannach will likely join the commission again to represent District 2 after he resigned in January because he moved. With current District 2 Commissioner Terry Duncan moving to District 8 due to redistricting, Bannach received no opposition after Richard Moses and Jeff Hartline picked up petitions in the race but failed to return them.
Duncan, however, will face District 8 incumbent Commissioner Frank Bush in that race.
It appears current District 3 Commissioner Dan Walker will become commissioner in District 10 after current District 10 Commissioner Nathan Clariday chose not to seek re-election. Redistricting put Walker in District 10.
In a similar situation, John P. Gentry will likely become commissioner in District 11 after current District 11 Commissioner Jim Bradshaw was elected to the Mt. Juliet City Commission. A change in the city’s charter would not allow Bradshaw to hold both seats.
With current District 12 Commissioner Billy Rowland opting not to seek re-election, it opens the field to include John Szente, Terry McPeak and former longtime Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe.
In other commission races:
• incumbent Becky Siever will face challenger Scott Leslie in District 1.
• Britt Linville, Bobby Franklin and Paul Harvey will seek the District 3 seat.
• incumbent Chad Barnard will face challenger Sam Bodock Saylors in District 4.
• incumbent Kenneth Reich will face challenger Kevin Graves in District 6.
• incumbent Terry Scruggs will face challengers Joshua Hinerman and Terry Scruggs in District 7.
• incumbent Sara Patton will face challengers Jason Haley, James Copas and Gary Tarpley in District 9.
• incumbent Clint Thomas will face challenger Sonja L. Robinson in District 13.
• incumbent Jeff Joines will face challenger Jason Henry in District 14.
• incumbent Jason Brockman will face challenger Diane Weathers in District 16.
• incumbent William Glover will face challenger Dennis Little in District 19.
• incumbent Eugene Murray will face challenger Cindy Forbes Brown in District 21.
• incumbent Wendell Marlowe will face challenger John Jankowich in District 22.
• incumbent Bernie Ash will face challengers Sue Vanatta and Robert Pelt in District 23.
• incumbent Paul Abercrombie will face challenger Joy Bishop in District 24.
• incumbent Randy Hall will face challengers Jim Emberton, John Wayne Hamblen and Luther C. Lenning in District 25.
Other races include:
• incumbent Diane Black will face Republican challenger Jerry Lowery for Sixth District U.S. House. The winner will face lone Democrat qualifier Amos Scott Powers in November.
• incumbent Mae Beavers will face challenger Clark Boyd in the Republican primary for District 17 state senator. With no Democrat opposition, the winner will get the seat.
• incumbent Mark Pody is unopposed in the Republican primary for District 46 state House. Pody will face Democrat challenger Candace Reed, also unopposed in the primary, in November.
• incumbent Susan Lynn will face Scott Hefner in the Republican primary for District 57 state House. The winner will face Democrat challenger Jesse McLevain, who is running unopposed in the primary, in November.
• Dwayne Craighead and Albert McCall will vie for District 17 Republican state executive committeeman.
• Yvonne G. Hunter, Pat Fields and Jennifer Winfree will face off for District 17 Republican state executive committeewoman.
• Aubrey Givens and Bob Black will seek District 17 Democrat state executive committeeman.
• Rachel Givens has no opposition for District 17 Democrat state executive committeewoman.
• incumbent John D. Wootten Jr. will face challenger Givens for 15th District Division II circuit court judge.
• incumbent C.K. Smith will face challenger Gordon C. Aulgur for 15th District chancellor.
• Brian Fuller and Brody Kane will vie for 15th District criminal court judge after current Judge David Durham announced earlier this year he would retire after his term expires.
• incumbent Jim Major will face challenger Nick Hays for Wilson County trustee.
• Shelley Gardner, Haywood Barry, Andy Wright, Ellis H. “Trey” Marshall III and Harry A. Christiansen will vie for 15th District Division II general sessions judge after current Judge Robert Hamilton announced earlier this year he would retire after his term his expires.
• Bud Brandon, Debbie Moss, Felicia Plumlee Hale and Jeff Dickson will run for circuit court clerk. Current clerk Linda Neal will not seek re-election.
• incumbent Ron Britt will face challengers Sam Green and Linda Armistead for Zone 4 Wilson County Board of Education.
• Jacob Austin will face William Robert Manley for Zone 1 constable.
Local city races will also be decided in November. The last day to register to vote is July 8. For more information, visit the Wilson County Election Commission website at wilsonelections.com or call 615-444-0216.