Wilson County Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren noted all petitions filed by candidates contained the necessary 25 signatures from constituents in their districts and said the candidates will not be officially qualified until Tuesday, April 17.
On the 17th the (Wilson County Election) Commission will meet and qualify the candidates for county elections, Warren said. The State Election Commission will qualify the other candidates.
In 2010, Lynn ran against current District 17 State Sen. Mae Beavers and Zelenik ran against Black, as well. Both races were hotly contested with Black narrowly defeating Zelenik.
Also, Zelenik was recently awarded a summary judgment in a lawsuit filed by Black and her husband David, accusing Zelenik of defamation due to a campaign ad that attacked Black during the 2010 election. Black and her husband said they would appeal the decision.
Redistricting forced Zelenik, who lived in Rutherford County during the 2010 election, to move due to the fact that new district lines removed Rutherford from the 6th Congressional District. Warren confirmed that Zelenik does now reside within the current 6th Congressional District in Mt. Juliet.
In local school board races, five candidates including three incumbents filed petitions for the Wilson County Board of Education, and two candidates, including one incumbent, filed petitions for the Lebanon Special School District Board of Education.
Wilson County school board members Vikki Adkins, Zone 1; Don Weathers, Zone 3; and Greg Lasater, Zone 5, filed petitions to run for re-election. Challengers Wayne McNeese and Charles D. Milligan filed petitions to run for Zone 1 and Zone 3, respectively.
Steve Jones, current chairman of the LSSD school board, filed his petition for re-election to the at-large seat on that panel, and challenger Johnie Payton filed her petition for the position, also.
Wilson County Assessor of Property Jack Pratt is running unopposed as no challenger picked up or filed a petition for that position. Pratt is concluding his first term as property assessor.
Warren said the candidates have until noon, Thursday, April 12, to withdraw their names from the Aug. 2 ballot. All candidates who have filed petitions may back out of the race up until that deadline.
Early voting for the Aug. 2 election will be Friday, July 13, through Saturday, July 28. Warren encouraged as many voters as possible to visit the polls early.
Staff Writer Patrick Hall may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.