HUNTSVILLE — On the first day of what is expected to be a busy qualifying season for the 2014 Scott County General Election, 13 potential candidates picked up qualifying petitions from the Scott County Election Commission Office, administrator of elections Gabe Lowe Krahn said.
The candidates picking up papers were mostly incumbents.
State election laws require candidates to collect signatures from registered voters endorsing their candidacy before becoming eligible to seek public office. Candidates have until April 3 to pick up and submit paperwork declaring their eligibility for the election, which includes most county-wide offices, as well as district offices and judiciary positions in the 8th Judicial District.
Among the candidates picking up papers on the first day of qualifying were all three appointed incumbents in the 8th Judicial District — public defender Mark E. Blakley, district attorney general Lori Phillips-Jones and chancellor Andy Tillman.
The trio of Scott Countians were appointed by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam in 2012 to fill vacancies in their respective offices until the Aug. 7 election.
In another 8th Judicial District office, circuit court judge John D. McAfee has already filed his qualifying petition in a bid to earn re-election to the seat he first won in a special election in 2004.
Among local positions, several county office holders who are incumbents also picked up papers to qualify for a re-election bid. Among them were county mayor Jeff Tibbals, trustee Jimmy D. Byrd, road superintended Dick Sexton, county clerk Pat Phillips and circuit court clerk Donnie Phillips.
Incumbent county commissioners David "Blue" Day (1st District) and Sam Lyles (2nd District) also picked up papers.
In the sheriff's election, both Ronnie Phillips and Bobby Ellis picked up qualifying petitions on Friday. Phillips is currently the Sheriff's Department's chief deputy, and is serving as acting sheriff in the wake of Sheriff Mike Cross's death last month. Ellis served as chief deputy under Anthony Lay from 2006 until Lay's resignation in 2010, and served as acting sheriff for the final two months of Lay's term. He finished third in the 2010 sheriff's race, behind Cross and former sheriff Jim Carson, after mounting a write-in campaign.
In the 1st District, Tommy Silcox picked up papers to run for the Scott County Board of Education. The 1st District seat is currently held by Brian Strunk.