1 election heats up, another kicks off

Jessica Boyd • Updated May 20, 2016 at 9:00 AM

In case Wilson County voters didn’t know already, it’s election season, and there are two upcoming chances to cast ballots. 

The last day to request absentee ballot for the Aug. 4 election is July 28. The August election will feature Wilson County offices up for general election, as well as state and national primaries. 

On this year’s county general ballot will be Wilson County property assessor, one Lebanon Special School District Board of Education at-large member and Wilson County Board of Education members to represent zones 1, 3 and 5, as well as new school zones 6 and 7. 

All school board members elected in August will serve four-year terms except for Zone 6, which will be a two-year term.

Incumbent Property Assessor Jack Pratt did not seek re-election this year, and three new candidates Stephen Goodall, Ronnie “R.D.” Denney and Howard W. Blaydes seek to fill the void.

Current Wilson County School Board Zone 1 representative Wayne McNeese and challenger John Jankowich are on the ballot, and incumbent Zone 3 member Larry Tomlinson and Dave Dixon are running for school board Zone 5.

Tom Sottek will run unopposed in Zone 3 after board member Don Weathers dropped out of the race.

In Zone 6, Johnie Payton will run unopposed for the newly created seat. Gwynne Queener, Chad Karl and Larry Inman are the three candidates who will look to fill the Zone 7 spot.

Ronald “Rip” McCarver and Mark Tomlinson will battle for the Lebanon Special School District school board seat. 

Current state Rep. Mark Pody will be challenged by fellow Republican Jim Gibbs in the race for House District 46. The winner of the Republican primary will take on Democratic candidate Amelia Morrison Hipps, who is unopposed in the primary, in November. 

State Rep. Susan Lynn will have a challenger in November for the District 57 House with Trisha Farmer running as a Democrat. Neither is opposed in the August primary after Republican challenger and Mt. Juliet pastor Ben Graham didn’t file a petition. 

In the U.S. House District 6 race, Congresswoman Diane Black will face Joe S. Carr, Tommy N. Hay and Donald Strong in the Republican primary. David W. Kent and Flo Matheson seek the Democrat nomination. The Republican and Democrat primary winners will go head to head in November. 

Voters will also cast retention votes in the August election for Tennessee Supreme Court justices Jeffrey S. Bivens, Holly Kirby and Roger A. Page, as well as Western Division Court of Appeals judges Kenny Armstrong, Brandon O. Gibson and Arnold B. Goldin and Court of Criminal Appeals judges Robert H. Montgomery Jr. in the Eastern Division, Timothy L. Easter and Robert L. Holloway Jr. in the Middle Division and J. Ross Dyer in the Western Division. Those votes will simply be cast yes or no on whether to retain the justice or judge. 

Early voting will be July 15-30 for the Aug. 4 election. 

For the Nov. 8 general and city elections, Friday is the first day candidates can pick up petitions. 

Early voting in the November state, federal and presidential general election, which will also include city elections, will be Oct. 19 through Nov. 3.

Offices included in the city elections in November include Lebanon mayor and Wards 1, 2 and 5 on the Lebanon City Council; Mt. Juliet mayor and Districts 1 and 3 on the Mt. Juliet City Commission; and Watertown mayor and three at-large aldermen on the Watertown City Council.  

The Cartmell Scholarship will also be on the ballot for Lebanon voters. 

Created by a private act of the state in 1911 and, according to the terms of the will of Lebanon resident William M. Cartmell, candidates for the scholarship must be residents of Lebanon, and only those eligible to vote in Lebanon elections may vote for the scholarship recipient. In 2008, a charter amendment was passed that authorized the city to feature the scholarship in every general election, which is every other year. 


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