By MARINA WATERS
There’s a new Washington County Commissioner in town, but his journey getting there wasn’t a simple one.
The commission voted Richard Johnson as their newest member after a three rounds of voting. Johnson is a retired 1st Judicial District Chancellor from Johnson City. The commissioner was up against East Tennessee State University Department of Family Medicine Associate Professor Jodi Jones, former Washington County Commissioner Phil McPeak, Johnson City Cardinals General Manager Tyler Parsons.
County attorney Tom Seeley said the nominee must receive 13 of the 23 votes. The 24th seat was left vacant spot left by David Tomita who is now the mayor of Johnson City. Seeley also said that if none of the nominees reach 13 votes in around, the nominee with the least amount of votes is casted out and voting goes into another round.
With 11 votes for Johnson in the first round, eight for Parsons, three for Phil McPeak and one for Jones, Jones was eliminated. Then, Johnson gained 12 votes, Parsons had 9 and McPeak had one. In the next round, Johnson reached 15. Johnson will serve with Commissioner Katie Baker for the fourth district.