County to see hotly contested races for mayor, clerk, property assessor positions
By John L. Kiener
The following individuals have qualified for county offices in the May 4 Republican primary. Seeking the office of County Mayor will be Don Arnold, Dan Eldridge and James Reeves. The current county mayor, George P. Jaynes, has announced his retirement and will not seek re-election.
Forrest Boreing, Steven Harris and Scott Buckingham are seeking the Republican candidacy for the office of County Assessor. Buckingham, the current assessor, was appointed by the Washington County Commission after former Assessor Monty Treadway retired in June 2009. Del Carroll is running as an Independent for the Assessor’s Office.
Five candidates are on the ballot for the office of County Clerk. They are Ron England, Tony Fowler, Shelia Haren, Scott Hyatt and Kathy Storey. Current County Clerk Doyle Cloyd has announced his retirement and will not seek re-election for the office.
England is a former Washington County sheriff and a member of the County commission; Fowler is a sales manager for an automobile marketing firm; Hyatt is in the auto repair business; and both Haren and Storey currently work in the County Clerk’s Office.
Trustee Jack Daniels will be opposed in the General Election by Pamela Fitzgerald, running as an Independent.
Several incumbents are running unopposed for Washington County offices. They are County Sheriff Ed Graybeal, Circuit Court Clerk Karen Guinn, and Register of Deeds Ginger Jilton.
It is very likely that there will be some new faces on the Washington County Commission. Several candidates for County Commission will seek to be the Republican nominees on May 4. All other candidates will run in the August 5 General Election. There are nine Washington County Commission Districts. Voters will elect three commissioners in Districts 1 through 7 and two commissioners in Districts 8 and 9.
In District 1, incumbent Peter Speropulos is running as Republican while present Commission members Greg Matherly and Paul Woodby are running as Independents. Others seeking to be one of the three Commissioners representing the District are Lee Sowers and retiring County Clerk Doyle Cloyd.
Two incumbents, Sam Humphreys and C.B. Kinch, Jr. are seeking to retain their seats in District 2 while Peggy Richardson chose not to seek re-election. Others qualifying as Independent candidates are Donald Gomer Feathers and Joe D. Sheffield. Seeking the Republican nomination for District 2 Commissioners are Pat Collins and George “Skip” Oldham III.
Incumbents Frank Bolus and Mark Hicks, Jr. are re-election hopefuls in District 3 while fellow Commissioner James T. Powell is not asking the voters for re-election. Alpha Bridger and Ted Ganger have qualified as Republicans for the District 3 seats. Independents seeking to be commissioners are N. M. “Bill” Bays, Jr, Robert Barnett, Mitch Meredith and Sam Phillips.
All three incumbent District 4 Commissioners, Sid Campbell, Phillip Lee McPeak and Wendell Messimer, are on the ballot in 2010. David Tomita is a Republican candidate for a District 4 commission seat. Others seeking to be elected as Independents in addition to the incumbents are Lee Chase, Joe Corso, John Hunter II, and Stephen Meroney.
Commissioner Ron England is not seeking re-election in the District 5 but is on the Republican ballot for the Office of County Clerk. Incumbents Bill Biles and Richard Matherly are seeking re-election as Independents along with Jerry Malone and Ken Lyon. Ethan Flynn is running in District 5 as a Republican candidate. District 6 sees all three Incumbents on the ballot as Independents: Mark Ferguson, Kyle Shell and Gerald Sparks. William Grandy III is seeking a District 6 seat as a Republican. Other Independent candidates are Adam Dickson, Bryan Martin and Ted Lynch.
Former Commissioner Scott Buckingham in the 7th District is seeking the County Assessor’s position. Commissioners Janice White and Mark Warren Larkey are seeking return to office with Larkey on the Republican ballot. Others in the GOP primary are Roger Nave and Gary Baines. Darrell Fitzgerald and Richard Shadden are Independent candidates for District 7 positions. Shadden was appointed on August 24, 2009 to finish serving Buckingham’s County Commission seat.
Incumbents Ben Bowman and Evert Jarrett qualified without opposition in District 8 and therefore will retain their positions as two of Washington County’s 25 County Commissioners. Incumbent Pat Wolfe qualified as a Republican in seeking re-election to his District 9 position. Fellow incumbent Danny Edens qualified as an Independent. Others seeking District 9 positions as Independents are David Shanks and Ron Stout.
With this list of candidates, voters will have a number of choices to consider in the next few months in the May primary and August 5 county general elections.