August Election Roundup

The August election is now behind us and many of the outcomes were predicable some were not. One thing for sure, Loudon County voters made it clear that they wont support independent candidates for office.

11,163 Loudon County voters went to the polls to make their wishes known. That was just a few more than a thousand more than voted in May.

For the first time ever, the Loudon County ballot had more independent candidates seeking office than democrats. 6 candidates had filed to run as independents. With the exception of Sarah Dailey who had challenged 1st district commissioner David Meers, all the independent candidates lost by wide margins. Daily also lost but just by 204 votes.

2nd district commission candidate Daryl Miller only garnered 8.88% of the vote. Robert Dishner, 5th district commission candidate received only 21.93% of the vote. The other 5th district commission candidate Pat Hunter picked up 27.02% of the vote in her race. And finally, sessions judge independent candidates Lee Ledbetter only got 27.8% of the vote with Mary Longworth getting 12.75%.

This is not meant to take away from the winners campaigns nor is it meant to degrade the independent candidates, it's just simply the facts of the numbers. Being an independent voter is considered a good thing but that doesn't seem to extend to candidates.

Not fairing much better than independent candidates were democrat candidates. Incumbent democrat county commissioner Wayne Gardin was unseated after only one term on commission. School board member, Steve Harrelson, republican, challenged Gardin for his seat and easily won the race.  Harrelson took 59.53% of the vote with Gardin receiving 40.47%.

Of course the other high profile democrat on the ballot was Matt Brookshire who took a licking in the county mayor's race. By his own statement, Brookshire will not seek reelection as Lenoir City mayor nor will he ever run for any public office again. So his loss Thursday turns out to be a win, win for everybody else.

Long time 2nd district commissioner, Earlena Maples, is now the lone democrat in all of county government. Maples defeated both a republican and independent challenger to retain her seat.

Overall, county government will see 7 new faces take office on September 1st. A new county mayor, three new commissioners, two new school board members a new judge and a new road commissioner.