Citing her husband's health, Barbara Blanton has announced that she will not seek the 62nd District State House of Representatives seat in the upcoming special election.
Blanton, who made a strong but unsuccessful challenge to Democratic incumbent Curt Cobb as the Republican nominee for the seat in 2008, made the announcement on Saturday.
"Due to the health of my husband, Dr. Ted Blanton, and a problem with his health that surfaced this weekend, I have decided to put my family ahead of my love for the people in this district, our state and our country and withdraw as a candidate for the House of Representatives -- District 62," said Blanton in a news release. She told the Times-Gazette that Blanton became ill while the couple were attending a rally in Murfreesboro. She said she did not want to put him through the rigors of a campaign.
"The outpouring of support from our friends who voted for me in the election last year has been overwhelming," wrote Blanton, "and everyone that I have called regarding my husband's health and this decision to withdraw has been more than supportive.
"It was my honor to serve in the Mississippi State Senate and, after moving to Tennessee twelve years ago, to continue to serve the honest hard-working people in Bedford County as vice chairman of the Bedford County Republican Party for four years, chairman four years, and for the past three years as state committeewoman -- District 16. I will continue to work for better government in every capacity that I can and will work hard to elect good candidates to represent us."
Pat Marsh and Bobby Scott are declared Republican candidates. On the Democratic side, Ty Cobb is a candidate for the seat, which was held by his brother Curt until Curt's resignation June 30 to become Bedford County Clerk and Master. It was that mid-term resignation that made the special election necessary.
Chris Brown picked up qualifying papers for both party primaries, or to run as an independent. The Times-Gazette could not determine over the weekend whether or not Brown, or any additional candidates, have yet turned in paperwork.
Party primaries for the seat will be held on Aug. 27, with the general election to be Oct. 13. Qualifying petitions must be turned in by noon Thursday.