It’s election time; do you know what your candidates think?

Published 7:11 am Friday, June 17, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

As a service to our readers, the Claiborne Progress is collecting answers from a short survey aimed at those candidates running for offices inside the county. The survey contains four questions that will give residents a better idea of just what the candidates think.

Following are the answers as submitted by Randall Smith, who is running for the Claiborne County Mayor’s seat against incumbent Joe Brooks and hopefuls Brent Clark, Jack Daniels and Charles Dean Miracle.

  • I was born in Kentucky and moved to Tennessee in 1984. My father bought Tazewell Auto Parts and I ran it for him from 1984-1988. In 1988, he decided he was ready to retire, so my wife and I bought the business from him and I continued to service our community. I then started O.T.’S Frame & Body Shop. I sold it in 2016.
    I graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1983 with a degree in Business Administration.
    I married Portia Fortner in 1986. We have two sons, Chandler and Corbett. We also have two grandchildren, Hayden and Eli. I’m a Gideon as we as a deacon at Cedar Grove Baptist.
  • I am college educated and have owned two successful businesses in Tazewell; Tazewell Auto Parts and O.T.’S Frame& Body Shop. I don’t think any other candidate has a resume like that.
    I feel like the Mayor should run The County like a business. Therefore, I think I would be the best candidate for the office.
  • In this Mayoral election, the most pressing issue is discord between the Mayor and the Commissioners. Elected officials need to win back the confidence of their constituents. There were a lot of promises made in the last election that never came to fruition.
  • I will work with all Commissioners on behalf of the County. I will apply for all grants available from the State to meet the needs of the County. I will recruit all new companies to our County and get more sales tax in our coffers.
    I will not waste any money, especially taxpayer’s hard earned dollars.
    Our cities have zoning, and I will not vote for rural zoning. We have a County that attracts people to our rivers and lakes. We need to make our County more appealing, aesthetically as well as recreationally.
    I ask for your vote and support in the upcoming election. Thank you.

To the local candidates, we appreciate your participation in completing the following survey. Please include a photo containing no political type banners by the June 30 deadline to:

Email newsletter signup

1) Please enter your name and tell us about your background (300 characters or less)

2 ) Why are you the best candidate for this office? (600 characters or less)

3) What do you think is the most pressing issue affecting us in this election cycle? (300 characters or less)

4) How would you address this issue in your elected office? (600 characters or less)

Early voting for the Aug. 4 primary and general election will run from July 15 through July 30. The polls open each weekday at 9 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. The first two Saturdays in the rotation, July 15 and July 23, will have special hours from 9 a.m. to noon. The polls will remain open on July 30, the last day of early voting, until 5 p.m.

Early voting will be held at the Claiborne Election Commission Office, located at 1802 Main St. in Tazewell, the Harrogate City Building, located at 138 Harrogate Crossing, and the South Claiborne Fire Dept., located at 3711 Hwy. 33 south in New Tazewell.

July 28 is the last day the Election Commission can issue absentee ballots by mail.

Federal or Tennessee state government issued photo ID is now required to vote, unless an exception applies. College student IDs will not be accepted.

To learn more about the new law and its exceptions, call the Election Commission Office at 423-626-5128 or visit