Competition appears to be on the horizon in several election campaigns waged toward Marshall County's Aug. 5 general election, according to an early review of a public record kept on who's obtained a petition to be named on the printed ballot.
While it's been known that there's a three-way race for mayor, Keith Hollingsworth has picked up a petition to be a candidate in the race for circuit court clerk, a position currently held by Eleanor Brandon Foster who's also obtained a petition.
The first hurdle for candidates is to obtain the signatures of 25 voters registered to cast ballots in the political jurisdiction and have those signatures verified. This process leads to the creation of an election ballot for the voting machines. The first day to obtain a petition form was Monday.
Meanwhile, County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett is being challenged by Commissioner Scottie Poarch and Lewisburg businessman Mike Spence.
As for candidates in the nine county commission district races, several commissioners have already announced that they're stepping down. Commissioner Jimmy Stitt said Monday that, like Commissioner Richard Medley, he would refrain from running this year so he will have time to raise young children.
Commissioners Poarch, Larry McKnight and Billy Spivey have also said they won't be running for re-election to their seats on the commission. McKnight says he ran in 1996 as a one-term official. Poarch is running for mayor and Spivey apparently has other interests.
Carla Powell has obtained a petition to run for a 9th District seat on the commission. Medley and McKnight represent that district now.
Rick Seaton picked up a petition to run for a 2nd District seat on the commission. It's now represented by Commissioners Rocky Bowden and E.W. Hill Jr. Bowden says he was the first person to obtain a petition to run for county commission.
In the 8th District, Commissioner Wilford "Spider" Wentzel picked up a petition to run for re-election. Former Commissioner Linda Williams-Lee obtained a petition to run in the 8th District where she moved while serving as a commissioner from the 3rd District. Williams-Lee was succeeded by Commissioner Tony Williams.
Williams was appointed by the commission to the district that is also represented by Poarch, thereby offering an opening in that district starting in September.
At least three incumbents serving in countywide offices have picked up petitions to be named on the ballot. They are County Clerk Daphne Fagan, Register of Deeds Dorris Wayne Weaver and County Roads Superintendent Jerry Williams.
Candidates' petitions are to be submitted before noon on April 1. Thereafter, the only way a candidate could run would be with a write-in campaign, but the election office must receive a written request from the candidate asking that write-in votes for them be counted.