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Few challengers for incumbents on Aug. 2 election

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Wilson County Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren said potential candidates have until noon, Thursday, April 5, to file petitions at the Election Commission office in Lebanon for positions on the Aug. 2 county General Election and State Primary ballot.


Positions that are up for election in August are Zones 1, 3 and 5 of the Wilson County school board, one at-large board member for the Lebanon Special School District Board of Education, Wilson County Assessor of Property, and State Representative for District 57 and District 46.


District 57 State Rep. Linda Elam, R-Mt. Juliet, and District 46 State Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, have picked up their petitions, but Elam has yet to file. No challengers have picked up petitions in Wilson County for those seats.


Warren noted that candidates for state offices must file their petitions within their home county. He noted candidates also have to file duplicate petitions in other counties they represent prior to the deadline.


Officials with the Cannon and DeKalb County Election Commissions told The Wilson Post that no petitions had been filed for the District 46 State Representative seat in their counties.


Due to district changes by the Tennessee General Assembly, District 57 is entirely within Wilson County and District 46 contains portions of Wilson, DeKalb and Cannon counties.


In the school board races, all three incumbents for the Wilson County board have picked up petitions, including another challenger who has yet to file. According to Warren, Wayne McNeese picked up a petition for Zone 1 of the county school board, a seat currently held by Vikki Adkins.


Adkins and Zone 5 board member Greg Lasater have filed their petitions with the Election Commission, but Weathers has yet to do so. No petitions have been picked up for Zone 5 to challenge Lasater.


No candidates have picked up petitions for the one at-large seat up for election to the LSSD board of education. If no candidate files for the position it will still appear on the Aug. 2 ballot, however it will show no candidates.


Under the office it will say that no candidate qualified. No one can be elected to that office in August so, a vacancy will be created when the election is over and the office will be treated as a vacancy and put on the November ballot, Warren said.


However, with still a week to go, Warren said it is unlikely that the position will receive no petitions for election.


Many candidates wait until the last days or even hours to file their petitions, he said.


Warren said all candidates have to get at least 25 signatures from voters that they represent in order to have a valid petition. For the state House seats, Warren said Pody, for example, could gather signatures from residents within his district in Wilson, Cannon or DeKalb County.


Wilson County Assessor of Property Jack Pratt has also filed his petition for re-election, however no challenger has picked up a petition for that position.


After the April 5 deadline, Warren said the Election Commission will qualify all petitions on April 17 to officially place the candidates on the Aug. 2 ballot. Potential candidates have until noon, Thursday, April 12, to withdraw their petitions.


Voters will want to remember the last day to register to vote in the Aug. 2 election is Tuesday, July 3, and registered voters may request absentee ballots from May 4 through May 26 for that election.


Also, early voting for the Aug. 2 election begins on Friday, July 13, and continues through Saturday, July 28. Warren encouraged as many voters as possible to visit the polls early.


Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at phall@wilsonpost.com.

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