(T-G Photo by John I. Carney) [Order this photo]
There are competitive races in the Democratic primary for county mayor, sheriff, circuit court clerk and trustee. Incumbent County Clerk Kathy Prater and Register of Deeds Johnny Reed are all but guaranteed re-election, being the only candidates who filed to run for their positions.
Early voting totals for the election were strong with 3,157 participating in the election during the early voting period, up strongly from the comparable election four years ago. But early turnout appeared slow when polls opened at the East Side Elementary School precinct, with poll workers outnumbering voters as 9 a.m. arrived.
Candidates in several county-wide races plan to wait for the returns with friends and supporters tonight.
* Incumbent county mayor Eugene Ray will be at Shelbyville Recreation Center, while challenger Henry Feldhaus will be at the Fly Arts Center.
* Both sheriff candidates will be on the Celebration grounds: incumbent Randall Boyce will be in the Blue Ribbon Circle, with challenger Rod Stacy at the Hall of Fame Club inside Calsonic Arena.
* Trustee candidate Tonya Davis will be at the old Coca-Cola / Plantation House location on Elm Street, while Jason McGee will be at Edgemont Baptist Church.
* Neither candidate in the contested Circuit Court Clerk's race plans a public event.
Voters will have to choose to vote either in the Democratic or the Republican primary for this particular election. Tennessee does not have voter registration by party, so choosing to vote in one party's primary does not prohibit a voter from voting in a different primary during a different election. Because no candidates filed to run in the Republican primary for county-wide offices, the winners of the May Democratic primary will be unopposed on the August general election ballot. Only a handful of candidates have run in the Republican primary in decades.
One candidate, Rodney Guinn, chose to run in the Republican primary for a Fourth District county commission seat, the first time in recent memory that anyone has run in either party's primary for county commission. Local county commission, school board and road board candidates have generally run as independents regardless of their political leanings or affiliation so their names do not appear on the May primary ballot.
Guinn, as the Republican nominee, will run against independent candidates for that district's two seats, incumbents Billy King and Jimmy Woodson, in the August general election.
The August election will be a general election for county offices and a primary election for state and federal offices. The general election for state and federal offices will take place in November.
Here are the candidates on today's ballot, with (I) indicating an incumbent.
Eugene Ray (I)
Randall Boyce (I)
Circuit Court Clerk
Thomas A. Smith (I)
Kathy Prater (I)
Register of Deeds
Johnny Reed (I)