And the race is on! General election promises some heat

Published 6:54 am Tuesday, February 15, 2022

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The office doors of the Claiborne County Election Commission had more than its usual share of action last week as the Aug. 4 General Election and State Primary races officially began. Incumbents and hopefuls alike rushed the building with campaign petitions in hand. Office seekers will have until noon on April 7 to qualify for the election and until noon on April 14 should they decide to withdraw from the race.

Absentee ballots can be requested from May 6 through July 28. Early voting will begin on July 15 and run through July 30. Voters may cast their ballots Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 9 a.m. to noon on the first two Saturdays in this early voting rotation. The polls will be open all day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on July 30, which falls on a Saturday.

Early voting will be held at the Claiborne County Election Office, Harrogate City Hall and the South Claiborne Fire Department.

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July 5 is the deadline to register to vote for the Aug. 4 election. Polls will open on Election Day at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

A federal or state issued photo ID is required, with some exceptions. Voters can no longer use a college student ID to vote.

Carolyn O’Dell, administrator of elections, addressed the ongoing worries associated with COVID-19 and its variants.

“The same precautions will be taken as was done last election. We ask that voters wear masks and practice social distancing. The voting booths will be sanitized each time they are used,” said O’Dell.

There were several returned/verified or certified petitions by the close of day on Feb. 11. Included in this list are hopefuls Attorney Thomas Tabor and Assistant District Attorney General Graham E. Wilson – both who hope to replace retiring Criminal Court Judge E. Shayne Sexton.

Incumbent Circuit Court Judge John McAfee has been verified to run for reelection as has incumbent Jared Effler, Attorney General for the 8th Judicial District, who is certified to run in Union County.

Incumbent Public Defender Leif Ericson Jeffers has been certified to run in Scott County. Sessions Court Judge Robert M. Estep, who is the incumbent, has been verified to run as well.

As has Monica Mountain, republican state representative for the 8th District, who has been certified.

A five-way split has been declared for the office of Claiborne County Mayor. Incumbent Joe Brooks will be in a neck-to-neck race against former County Mayor Jack C. Daniels and hopefuls Brent Clark, Charles D. Miracle and Randall Smith.

Brooks and Daniels have been verified, meaning the other three have not yet returned their petitions to be verified for the race.

In the nine district county commissioner race, none but hopeful Timothy Shrout has yet to return a petition. Shrout is verified to run for county commissioner in the 3rd district.

The Claiborne Sheriff’s Office race should prove a heated campaign with incumbent Bob Brooks and hopeful Joshua Russell now verified to run.

The ballot will likely include incumbents and/or contenders for the Offices of Trustee, Circuit Court Clerk, County Court Clerk, Register of Deeds along with School Board members from districts 3 and 5 – all who have yet to be verified.

Voters now have an easy option when looking for election information. Simply download the free GoVoteTN app, which can be found in the App Store. Or, to view voter specific information, download Google Play. Election Day polling locations, viewing and marking sample ballots, finding your elected officials, districts and county election commission information or accessing online election results are just a few pieces of information that can be gleaned from the apps.

iOS and Android versions  were updated in fall, 2020. Make sure to use the most recent version to ensure full functionality.

For more info, contact the Claiborne County Election Commission at: 423-626-5128 or go to: