Voting in local elections is our most important duty

Published 12:05 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2022

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Voters in Carter County have an important election coming up in May, when they decide who will represent the Republican Party as candidates in the August General Election.
Early voting for the May Primary Election will begin Monday, April 13. This past Monday was the deadline to register to vote in the primary election. There appears to be some crowded races with 68 candidates submitting qualifying petitions to the May 4 primary.
The ballot for the August 4 General Election will not be known until the results of the May 4 primary are in. There will be some independent candidates on the August ballot.
Several contested offices will be on the May ballot — County Mayor, Trustee, Sheriff, and several county commission and school board races.
As usual the countywide races for sheriff and county mayor are garnering some attention in the May primary. There are three candidates who have qualified in the mayor’s race and four candidates who have qualified in the Republican primary for the sheriff’s race.
In the mayor’s race, the candidates are: Patty Woodby, Mike “Acey” Ensor, and Danny R. Ward. Woodby currently serves as mayor. The Carter County Commission elected Woodby after Mayor Rusty Barnett died of a heart attack on Sept. 21, 2020. Woodby was the chair of the Carter County Commission at the time of Barnett’s death. The county commission elected her interim mayor and then elected her to fill out the rest of Barnett’s term.
The winner of the mayor’s race in the primary will face challenges by two independents in August: Leon Humphrey Jr., the son of former Carter County mayor Leon Humphrey Sr., and Devon Buck.
There are four candidates for sheriff in the May Republican primary. Those candidates are: incumbent Sheriff Dexter Lunceford, and challengers Mike Fraley, Thomas Smith and Kim Birchfield. All have extensive law enforcement experience.
The winner of the sheriff’s race in the primary will face a challenge from another retired officer from the Carter County Sheriff’s Department. That candidate is Rocky Croy, who also held numerous positions with the department during his long career.
Carter County Trustee Randal Lewis is retiring this year and six candidates have entered the Republican primary to succeed him. The candidates are Larry Adams, Aaron Greer, Jeff Guinn, Travis Hill, Chad Lewis and Andy Wetzel.
There is one other contested countywide race. County Clerk Mary Gouge is facing a challenge from Randall Jenkins. Gouge is a veteran employee of the office. Jenkins is a member of the Carter County Commission from the 6th District and chairman of the Rules and By-Laws Committee.
There are several uncontested countywide offices. Those include Sessions Court Judge Keith Bowers Jr.; Circuit Court Clerk Johnny Blankenship; Register of Deeds Jarrod Ellis; and Highway Superintendent Roger Colbaugh.
There is an assortment of races in the Carter County Commission, from crowded fields to a few races where there are not enough candidates. The light number of candidates means that 10 of the 24 seats on the county commission appear to be already decided. Those who are already members of the next Carter County Commission are: Nancy Brown and Julie Guinn from the 2nd District; Ginger Holdren and Lisa Childress from the 5th District; Aaron Frazier, Daniel McInturff and Jason Rasnick from the 7th District; Cody McQueen, Thomas Proffitt and Kelly Collins from the 8th District.
We encourage all eligible voters to make their voices heard in these elections, and being able to vote early is one way to get the duty out of the way and make sure your vote is counted.
Local government is the closest government to all of us. Helping make these decisions provides the best opportunity for us to have a say in how our schools and communities are run.
If you are eligible to vote in any of these elections, please accept your civic responsibility and do so.

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