Commission to select House representative

Xavier Smith • Dec 21, 2017 at 3:52 PM

The Wilson County Commission will kick off 2018 by selecting a Tennessee House District 46 representative after Mark Pody won the District 17 special Senate election earlier this week.

In a domino effect, Pody’s win, which will be certified Dec. 29, created the House vacancy. The special election filled the Senate District 17 seat left vacant by Mae Beavers after she decided to resign her position to focus on her run for governor.

The Wilson County Commission is tasked to fill the vacant House seat in accordance with state law, which states the commission must appoint a replacement since the vacancy was created less than a year until the next general election.

A notice, likely to be issued Dec. 29, would start a mandatory 10-day public notice for interested nominees.

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto said commissioners could hold a special meeting Jan. 15 to elect the representative, or wait until the next scheduled commission meeting Jan. 22.

Wilson County attorney Mike Jennings said the procedure to appoint a replacement would follow similar procedures used to appoint a Wilson County Board of Education member earlier this year.

During the meeting, the commission will go out of session and allow for public comments to begin. At that time, the public will be allowed to submit names to commissioners of whom they would like to see as the interim representative until the November election. After the public comments period ends, the commission will then return to regular session and review the nominations given during the public comments period.

At that time, commissioners will begin making their nominations for an interim representative. Though public comments will be accepted and considered, only commissioners will make official nominations.

A commissioner can nominate an individual recommended by the public, providing the individual nominated agrees in writing to serve if elected. A commissioner can, however, choose to nominate a person not discussed during the public comments period.

Should a commissioner nominate someone not present at the commission meeting, the commissioner who makes the nomination must present a signed statement by the nominee that he or she is willing to serve should the commission approve the nominee. There is no second required to the nominations.

After nominations end, those nominated will be given an opportunity to address the commission. Nominees will be asked to make a brief statement about themselves and why they seek the position. There will be no public comments period after nominations are submitted.

Commissioners will only be allowed to vote on an interim representative. Commissioners will use paper ballots to vote. It will take a majority vote of at least 13 votes to fill the vacancy. Should no one person receive 13 votes on the first ballot, or if there is a tie between two nominees, the nominees with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated and a second vote will be taken. The process will continue until one individual receives a majority 13 votes. Once an interim representative is appointed, he or she will serve in the interim position until Nov. 6, the day of the general election. 


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