Residents were invited to the Loudon County Republican Party’s monthly meeting Monday at the City of Loudon fire hall to meet the candidates on the March 1 ballot.
Loudon County Property Assessor Mike Campbell is seeking re-election, while challenger Larry Brown of Lenoir City will again seek the office.
Loudon County General Sessions Court Judge Hank Sledge is running unopposed. He was appointed to serve as the county's second General Sessions judge last year by Loudon County Commission.
Campbell and Sledge were present. Brown could not attend due to prior engagements.
Both incumbents spoke briefly and then took questions from attendees.
“Last year, the Republican committee decided that we would host our meetings at the first of the year, (and) we would do them at each ... district, and so basically it’s my month to have it,” Republican Party Executive Committee member Scott Newman, who also serves as Loudon County Board of Education chairman, said about why he organized Monday’s meeting. “And it was actually just a monthly meeting, and then I think Mike Campbell added his name to it as the candidate, as a meet the candidates. He kind of added it as his own thing to it to put something on Facebook.”
Campbell, who replaced Chuck Jenkins in 2012, said he is running again because he has “enjoyed the years of serving as Loudon County assessor.”
“The challenges piqued my interest,” Campbell said. “So as each obstacle comes my way it’s good to see that you can work through the differences, whether it’s appeals or the challenges of estimating values in segments and markets across 36,000 records. So it’s always rewarding when you have a challenging job ahead of you to bring your skillset in and apply those skills and come out with a product that you’re proud of.”
Sledge’s tenure as General Sessions judge began September 2015, but before taking the position, he logged 14 years in private practice, 2 1/2 years working with the Ninth Judicial District Attorney General office. In 2014, he was appointed a judicial magistrate.
“Make the courts a little more accessible, make things run a little bit quicker, (be) able to get your court case heard quicker, and then just through being the juvenile magistrate and now being the judge, I’ve done a lot of juvenile stuff,” Sledge said about how he wants to help the county. “I want to help as many kids as I can help.”
Brown said in an email correspondence that he has previous experience working with the Knoxville Utilities Board for a little more than 30 years, appraising and acquiring property. He currently owns two small businesses in Loudon County, he said.
“The reason I am seeking the office of Loudon County Assessor of Property is to work on fair tax resolutions for all Loudon County taxpayers, both the homeowners and the businesses,” Brown said. “... My review of sales of homes in Loudon County compared to tax appraisals demonstrates a lack of consistency.
“To increase the tax base for Loudon County, it is of utmost importance to attract new industries offering additional jobs and permit our current employers to grow and prosper helping each and every citizen of our county to advance rather than retreat,” he added.
Early voting will run through Feb. 23 at Loudon County Election Commission Office and Roane State Community College's campus in downtown Lenoir City. From Feb. 16-19, residents will be able to vote at Chota Recreation Center in Tellico Village. Early voting hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-noon Saturday.
Another meet and greet will be held 4-6 p.m. Thursday at the Yacht Club in Tellico Village. Campbell and Brown have confirmed they will attend.