City Election: Deadline is Sept. 17 to declare write-in candidacy

Published 4:21 pm Monday, September 3, 2018

While the field of candidates is officially set for the November city elections, citizens looking to run for office still have one more opportunity to be involved.

The deadline for residents to qualify as a certified write-in candidate is Monday, Sept. 17, at noon. From now until the deadline, residents can visit the Carter County Election Commission office in Elizabethton to pick up the necessary documents to be recognized as a write-in candidate.

Even though an individual that completes the process will be recognized as a certified candidate, their names will not appear on the November ballot. Voters will have the option to select “write-in” on a voting machine and manually punch in the candidate’s name.

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A bit of intrigue awaits the upcoming elections for Elizabethton and Watauga.

In the Elizabethton Board of Education race, four candidates have qualified to seek two seats. Those include Eddie Pless, longtime Elizabethton City Schools employee; Danny O’Quinn, vice president of Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Elizabethton; and incumbents Tyler Fleming and Susan Peters. The two that win the election will serve alongside current board members Dr. Grover May, Phil Isaacs and Rita Booher.

For the City Council race, the pool is down to five candidates looking to fill four available seats. Challengers include Elizabethton Federal Savings Bank Senior Vice President Richard Barker and Michael Simerly, a 30-plus year food breaker that is active in different community activities and groups, including Carter County Proud. Incumbents include Richard Tester, William “Bill” Carter and Wes Frazier. Current incumbent Sam Shipley was seeking a re-election bid but later pulled his candidacy citing health concerns. Winners in November will join Curt Alexander, Kim Birchfield and Jeff Treadway for their upcoming terms.

Prior to the election, the Elizabethton Star will print a voluntary “Meet the Candidates” portion in the newspaper and also include it on the newspaper’s website for candidates interested. Those looking to participate can email for more details.


In the City of Watauga, two candidates qualified seeking two seats on the City Commission that are up for grabs. Delisa Lafleur and Mickey Fair are both up for re-election to their positions on the Commission and both qualified as candidates.


A Carter County Board of Education seat will also be up for grabs in November.

With Mayor Rusty Barnett having to resign from the BOE, a seat opened up in the 4th District. Candidates looking to run for the BOE position in the 4th District have until Wednesday, Sept. 12, at noon to qualify. The seat represents Siam, Courthouse, East Side and National Guard Armory precincts. The Carter County Commission is expected to appoint someone to fill the 4th District seat on an interim basis during their meeting set for Monday, Sept. 17.