Five guys vie to be your clerk

Sandra ClarkGossip and Lies

Noon Thursday was the deadline to return qualifying petitions for the May 1 county primaries. (Candidates have until noon Feb. 22 to withdraw from the ballot.) Click here for the list.

Surprises?


Well, Steve Hall is running for register of deeds. Now that’s NOT the Steve Hall who served as register of deeds for decades, before falling victim to term limits. This is the Steve Hall who served in the Legislature and on Knoxville City Council. He’s lost races and won a few. Nick McBride is a seasoned veteran of the register’s office. He should win this primary.

Sheriff: It will be Tom Spangler or Lee Tramel. No surprise Republicans; no Democrats.

Criminal Court Clerk: Mike Hammond has no opposition.

Trustee: Ditto for Ed Shouse.

County Mayor: It’s three Republican guys and three Democratic women. The top vote-getters will face each other in August.

County Clerk: The race will be decided May 1 between Republicans Sherry Witt, the term-limited register of deeds, and Roger Kane, currently a state representative.

Circuit Court Clerk: Fighting to replace Cathy Shanks are five guys, making this the hardest-to-call race in the GOP Primary. Sheri Ridgeway is the sole Democrat. Bo Bennett, a threat to any vacancy, jumped into the fray this week. Others are Charlie Susano, who works for Ed Shouse and whose dad is an appellate judge; Don Ridings, a businessman running as a “Christian conservative;” Scott Smith, a longtime party activist who has been in real estate and insurance; and Tim Wheeler, a mortician who worked for and was fired by Shanks.

Already, Wheeler has posted billboards around town. Smith has bright red yard signs; Susano is showing up at one to three meetings most evenings. Ridings is running a non-traditional campaign. Who knows what Bennett will do?

We’ve got five school board races, two county commission at-large seats without incumbents and two district commission races. Political junkies rejoice. We’ve got candidates galore.

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