Candidates set for County elections


The filing deadline has come and gone, which has set the races for the upcoming Republican primaries in Washington County.

By and large, the Republican primary election on May 3 will decide the outcome of the general election on Aug. 4 since many of the races include only Republican candidates. High-profile races in Washington County include the selection of the county mayor, county sheriff, and county clerk. County commission seats are also at stake, as are county school board seats and several judicial positions.

County Mayor
A race that will come down to the general election is the race for the county mayor’s seat. Joe Grandy will face a primary challenge from Washington County commissioner Robbie Tester on May 3. The winner of that race will face independent James Reeves, who lost a narrow contest against Grandy in 2018 general election. Grandy beat Reeves by just 643 votes.

County Sheriff
The race for county sheriff will be decided in May as current interim sheriff Keith Sexton will face off against Michael Templeton and Leighta Laitinen in the Republican primary. No candidates entered the races as Democrats or independents ahead of the deadline.

County Clerk
The scenario will be the same in the county clerk’s race as Republican candidates Danny Edens and Cheryl Storey are the only two candidates who turned in papers ahead of the filing deadline, so the winner of the primary will run unopposed in August.

Other Courthouse Races
Trustee Rick Storey, register of deeds Teresa H. Bowman and circuit court clerk Brenda Downes do not have challengers and will all run unopposed in the primary and general elections.

County Commission
The vast majority of the races for commission seats will be decided between Republicans.

Republicans Richard Tucker and Isaac Moore are vying for the 1st District seat while Marty Johnson and Jason Day qualified to face off in the Republican primary in May with the winner set to face independent Billy Austin in August for the 2nd District seat.

Republican incumbent Jerome K. Fitzgerald will run unopposed in the 3rd District and Republicans Josh Edens and Todd Hensley will face off in the May primary for the 4th District seat. Republican incumbents Bryan Davenport (5th District), Greg Matherly (6th District) and Larry England (7th District) are unopposed while Republican incumbent Freddie Malone (8th District) will run unopposed in the primary but will have to face independent Scott Keith Holly in August’s general election.

Additionally, Republican incumbents Suzy Williams (9th District), Kenneth “Kenny” Huffine (13th District) and Jim Wheeler (14th District) will all run unopposed in the primary and the general elections. Republicans Lewis Wexler Jr. and Larry N. Grogan will face off for the 12th District seat in May’s primary election while Republicans Mark Rice and Ben Carder will face off in the primary election for the 15th District seat.

Democrat incumbent Jodi Jones will run unopposed in the 11th District while Democrat Ben Putland will face Republican David Tomita and independent Donald Feathers Jr. in the August general election for the right to represent the 10th District.

School Board
Five Republican candidates in District 1 are set to square off in the primary election for three available seats on the school board. Incumbents Keith Ervin and Annette Buchanan are joined in the race by Vince Walters, Cody Day, Kerrie Aistrop and James Murphy.

Three seats are also in play in District 3. Republicans Gregg Huddlestone and David Hammond will seek those seats along with independent candidate Chad Fleenor.

Judicial Races
Republican John C. Rambo will run unopposed for Chancellor while Republicans Steve Finney (District Attorney General), Jeff Kelly (Public Defender), J. Eddie Lauderback (Circuit Court Judge Part I), Lisa Nidiffer Rice (Criminal Court Judge Part I) and Stacy L. Street (Criminal Court Judge Part II) also find themselves unopposed in their respective races. Republicans Suzanne Cook and Lois Bunton-Shults-Davis in the Circuit Court Judge Part II race.

The races for General Sessions Court Judgeships will be hotly contested this year. Republicans Robert G. Lincoln will face Todd Hull in the General Sessions Court Judge Part I race. The General Sessions Court Judge Part III race will also be decided in May’s primary election as Republicans Johnathan A. Minga, Michael Rasnake and Stephanie Sherwood are all campaigning for the position.

Meanwhile, Republicans Janet Vest Hardin and Joshua P. Sutherland, III will square off in the primary to see who will face independent candidate Jesse James Campbell in the August general election for General Sessions Court Judge Part II.


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