As of last Wednesday, the choice became ours: Gripe, whimper, pout, complain … or vote.In advance of the conventional Election Day — Tuesday, May 1 — early voting got underway last week and …
As of last Wednesday, the choice became ours: Gripe, whimper, pout, complain … or vote.
In advance of the conventional Election Day — Tuesday, May 1 — early voting got underway last week and will continue through Thursday, April 26.
As in years past, the Bradley County Election Commission has established three satellite sites for early voting. Hours of operation for all three are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Bradley County Election Commission Office (Courthouse Annex building), 155 Broad St. N.W.;
• Bradley Square Mall (adjacent to Stadium BBQ & Grill), 200 Paul Huff Parkway N.W., Suite 114; and
• Food City South parking lot (in a portable trailer), 2310 McGrady Drive S.E.
These are the same locations used for early voting for the past few years, and all have properly served the entire community. The mall site serves the county’s northern end, the Food City site the southern end and the downtown site serves as a middle ground.
Of course, local voters can choose from among the three. They are not bound to any one site based on home address or location of employment.
It is just as important to note this: Not everyone chooses to vote early. Some prefer the air of excitement and the hustle and bustle of the conventional Election Day. Plus, waiting until the last possible moment gives them the natural advantage of politics; that being, the election machine is always twisting and turning 24/7, and few can predict the next piece of news that could influence the slice of electorate that has not yet cast its ballot.
The current elections include the Bradley County primaries. In August, local voters will cast ballots in the Bradley County general election and Tennessee state primaries. In November, a much shorter ballot will include state generals; these races include state legislators, U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives.
Locally, the November ballot will also include a referendum on the legalization of package (liquor) stores inside the city of Cleveland. Only city residents will be allowed to cast ballots in the referendum.
Several major races in the current Bradley County primaries are unopposed. These include County Mayor (incumbent Gary Davis), Trustee (incumbent Mike Smith), County Clerk (incumbent Donna Simpson), Register of Deeds (incumbent Dina Swafford) and Road Superintendent (incumbent Sandra Collins). These races include no candidates in the Democratic Primary.
Major contested county races include the bid for Sheriff, including incumbent Eric Watson and challenger Steve Lawson. Both are running on the Republican ticket. There are no Democrats.
Another significant race is for Bradley County Circuit Court Clerk in the Republican Primary featuring incumbent Gayla Harris Miller and challenger Jeff Young. There are no Democratic candidates.
On the Bradley County Commission, several races are up for grabs. The entire set of races and candidates includes:
• District 1, Seat A: Rick Bise-R and Dennis Epperson-R.
• District 1, Seat B: Mike Hughes-R (incumbent).
• District 2, Seat A: Louie Alford-R (incumbent).
• District 2, Seat B: Thomas Crye-R (incumbent).
• District 3, Seat A: Milan Blake-R (incumbent).
• District 3, Seat B: Johnny Mull-R (incumbent).
• District 4, Seat A: Alex Morrow-R and Charlotte Peak-R (incumbent).
• District 4, Seat B: Howard Thompson-R (incumbent).
• District 5, Seat A: Jerry W. Cross-R and Bobby Goins-R (incumbent).
• District 5, Seat B: Jeff Yarber-R (incumbent).
• District 6, Seat A: Tim Mason-R and Dan Rawls-R (incumbent).
• District 6, Seat B: Erica Davis-R, Tommy Ledford-R and Robert Rominger-R (incumbent).
• District 7, Seat A: Kevin Dean Raper-R and Joshua Watson Rogers-R.
• District 7, Seat A: Tammy Davis-D.
• District 7, Seat B: Bill Winters-R (incumbent).
The slate of Bradley County constable candidates includes: District 1, Jeffery Lewis-R and Garry D. Moore-R (incumbent); District 2, Richard Alford-R (incumbent) and Jimmy Kendrick Jr.-R; District 3, Jason Corum-R (incumbent); District 4, Wayne Henry-R (incumbent); District 5, Steve Anderson-R (incumbent); District 6, Timothy Colbaugh Jr.-R, Dewayne Hicks-R (incumbent) and Rob Jensen-R; and District 7, Brent Runyon-R (incumbent).
The election season is always a special time. Some might call it the best of times; others, not so much.
Nonetheless, it is an opportunity for Americans everywhere — including Cleveland and Charleston and Bradley County — to let their voices be heard.
We hope Bradley County residents will speak out.
Vote for your preference, and do it for whatever reasons mean the most to you.
Vote for ... vote against … vote with conviction … vote for the future.
Our point is … just vote.
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