08 Election
A Look At The Candidates

The 2008 presidential preference primary is quickly approaching. Unfortunately for some reason, most people don't bother to exercise their right to vote in this election. The last time both parties had to choose a presidential candidate was in 2000. Less than 2500 Loudon Countians voted in that election.

This election is a primary which means you must declare which party's primary, democrat or republican, you choose to vote in. William Jenkins is the sole democrat in the local race. He is running for the second district commission seat. All other local candidates running for office are running on the republican ticket. Chuck Jenkins, Leo Bradshaw, and Freddie G. McCrary all seeking the position of property assessor are on the republican ticket. Austin Shaver, Shirley Reno and Tony Arden all seeking the second district commission seat are all also on the republican ticket. So if you opt to vote in the democrat primary, you will not be able to vote for most of the local candidates.

Property Assessor

Chuck Jenkins has served eight years as county commissioner and was appointed to the assessors office in 2006 when it was vacated by now County Mayor, Doyle Arp. Jenkins's has voted in every election for the past fifteen years. Jenkins's honesty and integrity make him the perfect candidate for the position of property assessor.

This is not Mr. Bradshaw's first time on the ballot. In 2002 Bradshaw ran an unsuccessful campaign against incumbent Loudon County Trustee, Estelle Herron. Bradshaw lost to Ms. Herron but was then hired by then county mayor, George Miller, as the county building inspector. Bradshaw left the inspector position in 2004 after commission failed to pass pay raises for department heads. Bradshaw was then rehired as the county purchasing agent in 2005.

Bradshaw had stated that that would be his last run for political office feeling that he had been used by others to settle political scores. Bradshaw is being supported by County Mayor, Doyle Arp. Arp was furious back in 2006 when his choice for his replacement as assessor failed to gain the support of commission. Bradshaw's previous voting record is spotty and while he is running on the republican ticket, he has crossed over and voted democrat.

There is one other candidate seeking the assessor's office. Freddie G. McCrary of Loudon. No information is available on Mr. Freddie G. McCrary other than his previous voting record which is very spotty.

County Commission 2nd District Seat "B"

An unusual election on the February 5th ballot, will be the election of a second district commissioner. With former commissioner, Chuck Jenkins's, appointment to the assessor's office, the commission had to appoint someone to fill the vacant second district  commission seat until the next regular election. On the recommendation of Doyle Arp, that appointment fell to Lenoir City resident Shirley Reno.

Reno, a real estate agent and has supported Arp on every vote including his attempt to pass the Overholt 20 million dollar TIF request. Reno was the only commissioner to support Arp's recommendation to delay the vote for later passage. She has also apparently been telling her constituents that she really needs to win the election because she needs the health insurance benefits. Not sure this is the best reason to seek office. Ms. Reno's previous voting record is spotty.

William Jenkins is a new comer to politics. He is the only candidate running on the democrat ticket which assures him a win if he only gets one vote. William will face off against the winner of the republican primary in August. Jenkins is employed by the Lenoir City Parks and recreations department and a coworker of Bobby Johnson Jr., chairman of the Loudon County School Board. And by all accounts, is heavily supported by Johnson. William Jenkins has only voted in six elections since registering to vote in 1999.

Loudon County Sheriff deputy, Tony Arden, is also on the republican ticket. Arden has been in the news a couple of times over the last few years. Arden accidentally shot himself at the sheriff's office back in 2005 while cleaning his assault rifle. Later in 2005 Arden was indicted by a grand jury for tampering with evidence in a case involving an alleged assault on an inmate in the jail. The charges were later dismissed by a judge. Arden's previous voting record has been fairly consistent with just a few missed votes.

And last but not least, my personal favorite, Austin Shaver. Of course Austin is my eldest son but I would put him up against anyone for any position. Austin is the brightest, most self motivated and devout young man I have ever known. Austin is a lawyer and is employed by the law firm of Kennerly, Montgomery, & Finley, P.C. Austin's previous voting record is consistent with the exception of a vote while he was in collage.

Also on the ballot will be the question about raising taxes. Surely no one will vote to raise taxes while the county and the board of education are sitting on millions in surpluses.                     

For       ____________     

    Against ____________

Vote No On Sales Tax Increase.

The election is February 5th. Early voting, January 16-31.