Qualifications vary for candidates seeking election

Published 12:44 am Saturday, November 20, 2021

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com

Candidates planning to seek office in the August 2022 Carter County general election can pick up qualifying petitions beginning Dec. 20.

Qualifying petitions for candidates will be available to pick up beginning Dec. 20, and candidates have until Feb. 17, 2022, to return the petitions with at least 25 signatures. There are no fees to file to run for an office.

A local primary will be held on May 3, 2022, with the winners advancing to the general election Aug. 4, 2022.

A total of 24 commission seats and seven county offices will be on the Aug. 4, 2022, ballot, including sheriff, circuit clerk, register of deeds and trustee.

Tracy Tanner-Harris, administrator of elections, said qualifications for the offices are as follows:

Circuit Clerk, Clerk, Register of Deeds, or Trustee
– Must be 18 years old, a citizen of the United States and a resident of Tennessee
– Must reside within Carter County

Mayor
– Must be a qualified voter of the county, at least 25 years old and a resident of the county for at least one year prior to the date of filing a nomination petition
– Shall continue to reside in the county during term of office and shall not hold any other public office for profit during that term

County Commission
– Must be a qualified voter of the district they seek to represent
– Must be 18 years old, a citizen of the United States and a resident of Tennessee
– Must reside within Carter County

Highway Superintendent
– Must be 18 years old, a citizen of the United States and a resident of Tennessee
– Must reside within Carter Count
– Must have at least a high school diploma or GED and meet one of the following criteria: 1. Be a licensed engineer in Tennessee; be a graduate of an accredited school of engineering with at least two years experience in highway construction or maintenance; have a combination of education and experience equivalent to either of the above; or have at least four years experience in a supervisory capacity in highway construction or maintenance
– Must provide documentation to the Tennessee Highway Officials Certification Board at least 14 days prior to the qualifying deadline

Sheriff
– Must be a citizen of the United States and at least 25 years old prior to the qualification deadline
– Must be a qualified voter of the county and a resident of the county for one full year prior to qualifying deadline
– Must have a high school diploma or equivalent in educational training as recognized by the Tennessee state board of education
– Cannot have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere to any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or any felony charge or any violation of any federal or state laws or city ordinances relating to force, violence, theft, dishonesty, gambling, liquor or controlled substances
– Cannot have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere to any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or any felony charge or any violation of any federal or state laws or city ordinances relating to force, violence, theft, dishonesty, gambling, liquor or controlled substances
– Must be fingerprinted and have the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation make a search of local, state, and federal fingerprint files for any criminal record. Fingerprints are to be taken under the direction of the T.B.I. It shall be the responsibility of the T.B.I. to forward all criminal history results to the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) commission for evaluation of qualifications
– Cannot have been released, separated, or discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States with a Dishonorable or Bad Conduct discharge, or as a consequence of conviction at court martial for either state or federal offenses
– Must be certified by a Tennessee licensed health care provider qualified in the psychiatric or psychological fields as being free of any disorder, as set forth in the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition (DSM III) or its successor, of the American Psychiatric Association; at the time of the examination, that would, in the professional judgment of the examiner, impair the subject’s ability to perform any essential function of the job
– Must have at least three (3) years of full-time experience as a peace officer standards and training commission certified law enforcement officer in the previous ten (10) years or at least three (3) years of full-time experience as a state or federal certified law enforcement officer with training equivalent to that required by the peace officer standards and training commission in the previous ten (10) years. (This requirement does not apply in any county having a metropolitan form of government where the sheriff does not have law enforcement powers.)
– Must not have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere to any felony charge or violation of any federal or state laws relating to controlled substance analogues
– Cannot engage in the practice of law or serve as a member of the general assembly while serving as sheriff
– Must file with the POST commission an affidavit sworn to and signed by the candidate affirming that the candidate meets the requirements of this section; and a confirmation of psychological evaluation form certified by the psychologist/psychiatrist providing psychological evaluation as provided for in §8-8-102(a) (8) for the purposes of sheriff candidacy qualification

Current office holders in Carter County include: Circuit Clerk, Johnny Blankenship; Clerk, Mary Gouge; Highway Superintendent, Roger Colbaugh; Mayor, Patty Woodby; Register of Deeds, Jarrod Ellis; Sheriff, Dexter Lunceford; and Trustee, Randal Lewis.

Current members of the Carter County Commission include, District 1, Willie Campbell, Mark Blevins, and Dr. Robert Acuff; District 2, Nancy Brown, Mike Miller, and Julie Guinn; District 3, Bradley Johnson, Mark Tester, and Charlie VonCannon; District 4, Isaiah Grindstaff, Austin Jaynes, and Jerry Proffitt; District 5, Ross Garland, Ginger Holdren, and Layla Ward; District 6, Randall Jenkins, Travis Hill, and Gary Bailey; District 7, Sonja Culler, Daniel McInturff, and Aaron Frazier; District 8, Robin McKamey, Kelly Collins, and Thomas Proffitt.