Note: This story was last updated at 9 a.m. May 2.
CLINTON—Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank narrowly won the Republican Party primary on Tuesday, beating Anderson County Commissioner Steve Emert by 153 votes, according to unofficial results.
Frank, a former small business operator who was first elected in August 2012, had 4,771 votes, compared to 4,618 for Emert. That was a slim margin of 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent.
Frank has served one special two-year term as mayor and one full four-year term. There was no Democratic Party candidate for mayor in the Tuesday primary, meaning Frank won’t have a challenger on the ballot in the August 2 county general election and is essentially assured of serving again.
Emert is a small business owner who has served as Anderson County Commission chair. Like a previous candidate for mayor, former Tennessee Representative Jim Hackworth, Emert had emphasized what he characterized as dysfunction, including lawsuits, in the Anderson County Courthouse under Frank. Among other pledges, he had promised to restore civility to the county government.
But that and other campaign issues weren’t enough to give Emert the win, even if it might have helped to keep the election close. Emert initially had a narrow 63-vote lead after early and absentee voting results were counted. But the lead flipped when Election Day results started coming in from across Anderson County. [Read more…]