Letter: Commissioner-elect says ‘thanks,’ offers tips to November candidates

Theresa Scott Thank You Sign

Submitted photo

To the Editor:

Since May, I have knocked on doors and visited with residents, homeowners, and voters of District 7 while campaigning for a seat on County Commission. I heard from many about their frustrations at several candidates in various races who chose to gain attention by means of mail, recorded phone messages, and numerous yard signs throughout their neighborhoods and on the main roads.

When the signs were allowed to be posted at the Wildcat Den for early voting, it was as if there was a corrugated plastic explosion overnight. Some were so disgusted that they chose not to vote during that period. It is very unfortunate that such a distraction would cause someone to choose not to make their voice heard.

With another election coming up in just a few months, I would like any future candidates to take note of the following tips that could possibly help them reach more voters. When canvassing a neighborhood, keep in mind there may be a dog or child on the other side of a gated fence. Respect a resident’s privacy and do not solicit or trespass onto their property if signs are posted not to enter. You should not cross through the yard when going to the neighboring property but use the sidewalks. [Read more...]

DA cites Lay’s job ‘performance problems,’ sheriff candidate claims political targeting

Dave Clark

Dave Clark

Note: This story was updated at 10:25 a.m. August 5.

DA responds to political targeting charge

There was no political targeting of Trooper Anthony Lay before his five-day suspension by the Tennessee Highway Patrol in May, but there were “real, serious, and repeated performance failures,” Anderson County District Attorney General Dave Clark said Friday.

Clark documented what he called Lay’s performance issues in a statement released Friday. A DUI charge in one case was dismissed, Clark said, after Lay failed to submit a complete case file and then did not respond to requests for documents by fax, mail, and email. He cited two cases where Lay failed to appear in response to a subpoena. In one of those cases, Lay faced potential arrest for contempt of court and showed up 20 minutes late, but the judge dismissed the case because Lay wasn’t present, the DA said.

Clark said he saved Lay from going to jail in that case because he declined to have the trooper arrested and instead called his sergeant to see if he could get Lay to court to avoid further trouble.

Clark cited another case where he said Lay failed to arrest a driver who was impaired and had four or more prior DUI convictions, possessed drugs and drug paraphernalia, and was a habitual motor vehicle offender. Lay issued the driver a ticket, but he should have taken the driver into custody after the man finished his medical treatment, Clark said.

In issuing his statement Friday, Clark said he was responding to Lay’s charges in recent stories about the trooper’s suspension by the THP in May. In those stories, published in several media outlets, Lay said he was the target of political attacks. [Read more...]

Early voting ends Saturday

Time is running out to vote early in next Thursday’s countywide general election and state and federal primary elections. Early voting will continue today until 6 p.m. and will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon.

Polling locations are at the Clinton Community Center, the Midtown Community Center in Oak Ridge, and the North Anderson Government Office in the Anderson Crossing Shopping Center.

On Thursday, 681 people voted, bringing the 12-day total to an impressive 7,140 early voters.

Election Day is Thursday, August 7, and polls across Anderson County will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. that day. For more information, call the Anderson County Election Commission at (865) 457-6238 or visit the website at www.acelect.com.

Democratic Women host tea for Mary Headrick

The Anderson County Democratic Women’s Club will host a tea on Monday, July 28, for Mary Headrick, the Democratic candidate for the Third Congressional District seat, and other female candidates in this year’s elections.

The tea, in support of female Democratic candidates, will be from 5-7 p.m. July 28 at Democratic Headquarters at 125 Leinart St., Suite 3, in Clinton. Tea and light refreshments will be served, a press release said.

Women are invited to come meet Headrick, have tea, and discuss issues important to the Third District, the release said. The club will also offer its support to district candidates for the female position on the Democratic Party Executive Committee: Dixie Damm and Beth Hickman. Other Democratic female candidates from the region are invited to attend.

Letter: Supports Ragan, urges end to negative campaigning

To the Editor:

Never did I ever think I would be writing a letter to be published in a newspaper. However, I cannot sit idly by while my husband, Rep. John Ragan, is portrayed as anything but an honorable servant of his fellowmen.

We have been married for 43 years. He is the father of two wonderful children, and the grandfather of a precious little girl. He has supported our children in everything they ever wanted to do, even as he served on foreign shores to protect their freedoms and the freedoms of all our citizens.

He taught them through example the values of service beyond self. Furthermore, he demonstrated with action what it means to serve our fellow countrymen with honor, integrity, and honesty. He also taught them to revere our Heavenly Father and live each day for His glory. [Read more...]

Letter: Frank earns ‘Realtor Champion’ endorsement

Terry Frank and Jennifer Roche

Jennifer Roche, KAAR governmental affairs director, presents Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank with the organization’s Realtor Champion Endorsement. (Submitted photo)

Submitted by Terry Frank

Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank, a Republican seeking re-election in the August 7 election, has received an endorsement as a “Realtor Champion” of the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors’ political action organization.

The Knoxville Area Association of Realtors, or KAAR, covers 12 counties including Anderson County and has 3,000 members. KAAR donated $1,000 to Terry Frank’s campaign from the RPAC (Realtor Political Action Committee), the nonpartisan fundraising arm of the National Association of Realtors’ governmental affairs programs.

RPAC’s mission is to identify candidates for elected office on the local, state, and national levels who will work with Realtors to promote and protect the American Dream of home ownership. [Read more...]

Letter: Shelton has experience, operates with integrity

To the Editor:

I am writing in support of Tim Shelton, our Anderson County Register of Deeds, who is seeking re-election.

Tim has a total of 22 years experience in the Register of Deeds office and has served as our register for the past 12 years. He has consistently run his office with professionalism and integrity, and he has extensive knowledge of the state laws that govern the records and services that his office maintains and provides.

During Tim’s 12-year tenure as register, his office has been recognized twice as the best Register of Deeds office in the state. Each of his staff members are certified public administrators and provide friendly and exceptional customer service

Also, since 2002, Tim’s office has receipted in over $20 million and has accounted for every penny. His office has not received a single negative audit finding since Tim was elected.

If his office were mishandling money and operating at a deficit, as his opponent would lead us to believe, that would definitely have been reflected in annual audits. [Read more...]

Fleischmann, Wamp at Q&A session at Chamber on Monday

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann and his Republican challenger Weston Wamp will take part in a question-and-answer session at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce on Monday morning.

The event starts at 7:30 a.m. Monday.

Fleischmann is running for his third term as a congressman in Tennessee’s Third District, which includes Oak Ridge. Wamp is challenging him for the second time.

The two are running in the Aug. 7 federal Republican primary. [Read more...]

CASA, Community Mediation host juvenile judge candidate forum

Two nonprofit organizations are hosting a Tuesday evening forum for the two candidates for Anderson County Juvenile Court judge.

The two candidates are Republican Brian Hunt and Democrat Michael Clement.

The forum is hosted by Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the Tennessee Heartland and Community Mediation Services (CMS). It will be held in the Clinton Public Library from 6 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 8. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m., a press release said.

Each candidate will have an opportunity to address the group, and several questions will be taken from the audience. The public is invited, and reservations are not necessary.

The Anderson County general election is Aug. 7 [Read more...]

Guest column: Open primaries mean voters can choose which primary to vote in

Myron Iwanski

Myron Iwanski

Comments I have heard regarding the upcoming election indicate some confusion about who can vote in this primary.

The election is a primary to determine who the Democratic and Republican candidates will be for countywide offices in Anderson County. This is an “open primary,” which means a voter does not register as a Democratic or Republican and can choose to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary.

While most seeking countywide offices in Anderson County run as a party candidate, most residents I have talked to vote for who they believe are the best candidates for Anderson County—no matter the party.

It is puzzling how in national elections the percentage of registered voters voting in Anderson County is much higher than in local elections like those coming up in May and August. In the last presidential election, 60 percent of registered voters in Anderson County (29,283 of 49,169 eligible) voted. However in the last local county primary election, only 17 percent of registered voters (7,765 of 46,186) voted. [Read more...]

Most Anderson commissioners seek re-election, six running in District 7 in OR

Anderson County Courthouse

The Anderson County Courthouse on Main Street in Clinton is pictured above.

There are six candidates running for Anderson County Commission in District 7 in Oak Ridge in August, and a Democrat has joined the race for Tennessee House of Representatives in the 33rd District.

Meanwhile, an Independent, Bradley S. Rickett, has joined the race for Anderson County mayor, competing against Democrat Jim Hackworth and the winner of the May 6 Republican primary, either the incumbent, Terry Frank, or her challenger, Commissioner Zach Bates.

Fourteen of the 16 Anderson County commissioners are seeking re-election to a four-year term. But Bates, from District 4 in the Lake City area, is not. And neither is Commissioner John Shuey. Shuey is one of two commissioners in District 7, which includes the Glenwood, Highland View, and Pine Valley precincts in Oak Ridge.

District 7 is the most competitive in terms of number of candidates. In addition to the incumbent, Jerry Creasey, other candidates include Jimmy Bouchard, Michael Marsh, Denny Phillips, Kevin Rice, and Theresa Scott.

District 3—which includes Andersonville, Fairview, Glen Alpine, and Norris—has five candidates, including the two incumbents, Steve Emert and Dusty Irwin. The other three candidates are Josh Anderson, David Farmer, and Philip Warfield. [Read more...]

Meredith to seek re-election to Anderson County Commission

Rick Meredith

Rick Meredith

County Commissioner Rick Meredith has announced he is seeking re-election to the Anderson County Commission, representing District 2. District 2 includes the Clinton, South Clinton, and North Clinton precincts.

“It has truly been an honor to represent the residents of District 2 on County Commission,” Meredith said in a press release. “I take very seriously the trust that you have placed in me, and it is my hope that you will allow me to continue serving you and working with my fellow commissioners to move Anderson County forward.”

First elected in 2010, Meredith said he brings extensive experience in economic and community development to the Commission, as well as knowledge of both state and local planning and program management. He joined the Hollingsworth Companies in 2010 as senior vice president for community development. [Read more...]