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By Marian Galbraith, staff writer
Next year is shaping up to be one of the busiest election years in recent history, and one that will elect a wide range of candidates on all levels of government, from local school boards to the U.S. Senate.
The May 6 primaries for Republicans, Democrats and Independents will not only determine the candidates for Tennessee governor, U.S. Congress, and state House, but also nearly every political office on the county level will be up for grabs, including Coffee County mayor, all 21 commissioners, Circuit Court judges, district attorney general, public defender, county trustee, General Sessions judges, sheriff, Circuit Court clerk, county clerk, register of deeds, road superintendent, all road commissioners and all constables.
The deadline to file nomination petitions for Coffee County primaries is noon on Thursday, Feb. 20, at the Coffee County Election Commission office, located at 1329 McArthur Street, Suite 6, in Manchester.
The voter registration deadline for the May primaries is noon, Monday, April 7, at any of the following locations: Coffee County Election Commission Office, Motor Vehicle office when applying for a driver’s license, Department of Human Services, Manchester and Tullahoma departments of health, Tennessee Rehabilitation and Vocational Center, Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Manchester and Tullahoma libraries.
county mayor seat
According to Charlotte Durham, Coffee County Election Commission deputy administrator, a total of 47 petitions had been picked up as of noon Monday for a variety of positions, including three candidates vying for county mayor, namely Bill Nickels, Timothy Brown and Gary Cordell, to succeed existing two-term county mayor David Pennington, who has opted not to seek re-election.
While several incumbent commissioners appear to be seeking re-election in their existing districts, several newcomers have also picked up petitions.
Gene Taylor has picked up in District 2; Julian Sam Miller, District 3; David Orrick, District 9; Phil E. Duncan and Major J. Shelton for District 13; Timothy Stubblefield in Tullahoma’s District 16 and Robert L. Gilliam in District 18.
Charles H. Schultz is also challenging Kerry Farrar in District 8 while Diane J. Argraves is challenging Barry West in District 11.
Stubblefield seeking empty District 16 seat
Timothy Stubblefield, of Tullahoma, is also the only candidate who submitted a resume to fill the empty seat now in Tullahoma’s District 16 in the county commission, open due to the death of Robin Hines.
However, officials stated in a recent committee meeting that candidates can also be nominated from the floor of the commission during its meeting next month, when the commission intends to make its decision.
City and county school board set for Aug. 7
Once the local candidates are determined in May’s primary, general elections for city and county positions will be held Aug. 7, along with statewide primaries for governor, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives (6th Congressional District), state House of Representatives (4th House District), state executive committeeman, state executive committeewoman, and judges for Supreme and Appellate courts.
The Aug. 7 ballot will also include questions for the voters as to whether to retain or replace various judges, but Durham said these exact seats are not yet determined.
Manchester offices on the Aug. 7 ballot include three aldermen and three school board seats, each for four-year terms. Manchester aldermen Roxanne Patton, Donny Parsley and Cheryl Swan’s terms all end this year.
Tullahoma city races on Aug. 7 will include the mayor’s seat currently held by Lane Curlee, and two aldermanic seats, namely those of Jerry Mathis and Mike Stanton, all for three-year terms; as well as two Tullahoma School Board seats, namely those of Linda Thoma and Sharon Vance, for four-year terms.
Finally, four county school board seats will be up for election in August for four-year terms: Seat 2 (Districts 8, 9 and 10 currently held by Freda Jones); Seat 3 (Districts 5, 6 and 7 currently held by Brett Henley); Seat 4 (Districts 3, 14 and l6 currently held by Reggie Johnson); and Seat 6 (Districts 15, 18 and 21 currently held by Marilyn Morris).
For more information contact the Coffee County Election Commission office at 931-723-5103.