Note: This story was last updated at 2 p.m.
Ten candidates have qualified to run for Oak Ridge City Council in the November 4 municipal election, and there are nine candidates for Oak Ridge Board of Education—a total of 19 candidates.
It’s the largest field of candidates in recent memory, and it’s not immediately clear when, or if, there has been a field as large.
The deadline to qualify as a candidate in this fall’s municipal elections in Anderson County was noon Thursday.
There is a mix of incumbents and newcomers in Oak Ridge, Clinton, Rocky Top (Lake City), Norris, and Oliver Springs.
In Oak Ridge, two incumbents, including Mayor Tom Beehan and Mayor Pro Tem Jane Miller, are not seeking re-election. Meanwhile, the other two incumbents whose terms expire this November, Anne Garcia Garland and David Mosby, are running for another four-year term.
In addition to Garcia Garland and Mosby, the other Oak Ridge City Council candidates are:
- Kelly Callison,
- R.G. “Rick” Chinn,
- Warren L. Gooch,
- Gary L. Love,
- Pedro J. Otaduy,
- Aditya “Doc” Savara,
- Ellen D. Smith, and
- Eric Tobler.
Smith is a former City Council member, and Callison and Tobler have run for a Council seat before.
Four seats are up for election on the seven-member Council.
Two of the incumbent school board members are not seeking re-election. They are Dan DiGregorio and Jenny Richter.
But Board of Education Vice Chair Bob Eby is running for another four-year term.
Besides Eby, the other candidates are:
- Jean Hiser,
- Andrew Howe,
- Mike Mahathy,
- Andy Marathe,
- A. Paige Marshall,
- Laura McLean,
- Laurie Paine, and
- Aaron Wells.
Three seats are up for election on the five-member School Board. Wells has previously run for school board.
Three other candidates had expressed an interest in a school board seat by picking up a nominating petition but did not file by Thursday’s deadline. They are Melanie Heiberg, Chris Keever, and Marian H. Wildgruber.
City Council and Board of Education seats are at-large, meaning the three or four candidates who collect the most votes in the citywide elections in November will be elected. The elections for both bodies are staggered, meaning that some seats are up for election this year and others will be up for election in 2016.
Council will appoint a new mayor and mayor pro ten after the November election, the last in a series of three elections this year.
Clinton Mayor Scott Burton, the incumbent, is the only candidate who qualified for that seat and another four-year term. No one else picked up a nominating petition.
Candidates who have qualified for Clinton City Council, which also has staggered terms, are:
- Ted Phillips,
- E.T. Stamey, and
- Ronald Young.
Stamey is the incumbent.
- Brian D. Hatmaker, who is running unopposed.
- Zach Farrar, who is running unopposed.
Clinton has three wards and two council members per district. Longtime incumbents Charlie Lyons and Jerry Shattuck, who is now Clinton vice mayor, are not seeking re-election
Two candidates, incumbents Timothy A. Bible and Curtis W. Isabell, have qualified to run for Clinton Board of Education, Ward 2. Meanwhile, Kimberly K. “K.K.” Webster has qualified in Clinton Board of Education, Ward 3, and has no opposition.
Incumbent Jim Webster is not seeking re-election.
Rocky Top (formerly Lake City)
Donald R. Douglas, a City Council member, and Michael J. Lovely, Rocky Top vice mayor, qualified to run for mayor. The current mayor, Timothy L. Sharp, is not seeking re-election as mayor, but he is running for a seat on the Rocky Top City Council.
Rocky Top City Council member Andrew J. Howard picked up a nominating petition for mayor, but he did not file by Thursday’s deadline.
Besides Sharp, other candidates who have qualified to run for Rocky Top City Council are:
- Brian Brown,
- Pamela Brown,
- Denise Casteel,
- Becky Lindsay, and
- Gary Mullins.
Rocky Top will elect a mayor and two council members. Most voters are in Anderson County, but Rocky Top also has about 10 registered voters in the Campbell County portion of the city.
Candidates who have qualified to run for Norris City Council are all incumbents. They are:
- Jack Black,
- Bill Grieve,
- York Haverkamp,
- Chris Mitchell, and
- Loretta A. Painter.
Natalie Erb, Jo-Ann S. Fehr, and Peter Sexton picked up nominating petitions but did not file by Thursday’s deadline.
Unlike the other cities in Anderson County, which have staggered elections, all five council seats are up for election in Norris in November. Norris has an appointed mayor.
In Oliver Springs, it doesn’t appear that anyone qualified to run for alderman, Ward 1. Robert L. Miller Sr. picked up a nominating petition but did not file by Thursday’s deadline.
In Ward 2, Jeffery Bass and Maurice Walker, the incumbent, both qualified.
Nathan Benson and M.T. “Terry” Craze, the incumbent, both qualified in Ward 4.
Chris M. Hepler, the incumbent, is unopposed for mayor.
About three-fourths of Oliver Springs is in Anderson County, but the city also has residents who live in Roane County and a small number who live in Morgan County.
While Clinton and Oliver Springs have City Council districts, the other cities—Norris, Oak Ridge, and Rocky Top—do not.
U.S. House, wine in grocery stores
Cassandra J. Mitchell has qualified to run as an Independent in Anderson County for the U.S. House of Representatives, Third District, where she will presumably challenge the incumbent, Representative Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican, and Democratic candidate Mary Headrick. It’s not clear if Mitchell has qualified in the other counties in the district, which stretches north to south across the state from Kentucky to Georgia and includes Oak Ridge and Chattanooga.
There will also be questions on the November ballot about allowing wine to be sold in grocery stores in Clinton, Norris, and Oak Ridge. In addition, there is a referendum on consumption on premises in Norris; it would allow alcoholic sales on premises in Norris.
The elections earlier this year were the Anderson County Republican and Democratic primaries on May 6, and Anderson County general election and state and federal primary elections on August 7. The November 4 election features the municipal elections, as well as the state and federal general elections.
The withdrawal deadline for the November election is noon August 28.
See the Anderson County Election Commission website for more information.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
WYSH Radio in Clinton contributed to this report.