Senior Staff Writer
Marshall County voters elected a new property assessor on Thursday - Michelle Griffy Campbell of Cornersville.
Campbell won with 53 percent of the votes in a three-way race, besting her rivals Billy Lanier of Lewisburg, a retired real estate agent, and Shirley Lowe, a Realtor who's well known as the moving force behind the Pregnancy Resource Center on East Commerce Street.
The property assessor-elect acknowledged the public image of her competitors, but that led to harder work during the campaign.
"She won by 859 votes," Campbell's husband, Kenny, said during a victory party at their home.
The property assessor-elect attributed her campaign victory to "hard work, dedication and determination."
She campaigned on 20 years of experience in property assessors' offices, having worked in Marshall and Giles counties.
"I started working in the assessors office in 1992 when I was 21 years old," Campbell, 41, said.
She's worked in an assessor's office during three reappraisals, a particularly difficult time for those offices. One was in Marshal County. The others were in Giles County.
Campbell succeeds Linda Haislip who was elected in 1992. Haislip has worked in that office for 33 years. She announced her retirement from the elected position to become the GIS (Geographic Information System) coordinator for the Marshall County Emergency Communications District, also known as the 911 Board.
By Kenny Campbell's accounting, results in his wife's race showed: Campbell with 2,537 votes; Lanier with 1,678; and Lowe with 569.
"The race has been hard work," Campbell said, "but it's been exciting.
"I've enjoyed the people of Marshall County," she said. "They are some of the kindest people and they showed me such support - people who didn't even know me until the campaign."
Now that the race is over, Campbell plans to take some time to be a mother, explaining that her 17-year-old daughter, Makayla, "is just ready to get her momma back and have a home-cooked meal."