HUNTSVILLE — With two weeks remaining before the qualifying deadline, Scott County’s general election continues to take shape, with a high-profile battle looming for the sheriff’s office and relatively crowded fields for several county-wide offices.
The county mayor’s race could be on the verge of taking on a fifth candidate, as Harold Brooks has picked up paperwork to seek the office. As of Monday, Brooks had not formally qualified. If he returns the qualifying petition, he will join incumbent Dale Perdue, former mayor Jeff Tibbals, current county commissioner Rick Russ and Michael Lloyd as candidates vying for the office.
Meanwhile, there is a six-person race shaping up to replace retiring Register of Deeds Benjie Rector. Current deputy register Ashley Newport Riseden is set to be joined on the ballot by current county maintenance employee Tim “Kemo” Garrett, Chris Wilson, Oneida businessman Kevin Bilbrey, cellular sales representative Stuart Jones and Mary Duncan Hall. John V. Thompson Jr. picked up paperwork but has since withdrawn his name from consideration.
In the race to replace retiring County Clerk Pat Phillips, five people are set to square off: Phillips’ niece, Felicia Hamby Bilbrey, Christin Kidd Neal, Sandi Carson Chambers, Pat Massengale and Peggy L. Duncan.
County Trustee Jimmy D. Byrd, County Attorney John Beaty and Circuit Court Clerk Donnie Phillips remain without opposition in their re-election bids.
In the race for road superintendent, Kelvin King will attempt to succeed his retiring boss, Dick Sexton, but will be opposed by Dale Boyatt, who ran a closely-contested race against Sexton in 2014.
In the race for sheriff, incumbent Ronnie Phillips is opposed by former sheriff Anthony Lay.
With two weeks of qualifying remaining, only 16 candidates have qualified for the 14 seats on Scott County Commission, though several others have paperwork outstading.
The 1st District is the most crowded thus far, with five candidates vying for the two available seats. Along with incumbent David “Blue” Day, the candidates who will seek a spot on the commission are Ledford Harness, Randall Hamilton, former commissioner David Jeffers and Jacob Hughett. Incumbent Eric Newport will not seek re-election.
In the 2nd District, only one candidate has qualified thus far — Jerried Jeffers. The Scott County Sheriff’s Department sergeant will attempt to replace his mother, June Jeffers, who is not seeking re-election in the 2nd District. Incumbent Sam Lyles has picked up paperwork, as has former commissioner Leonard Bertram and Jennifer Honeycutt Dishman.
In the 3rd District, incumbent Sheila Hall Buttram is the only candidate who has qualified, though incumbent Ernest Phillips and former commissioner Kenny Morrow have picked up paperwork.
Incumbent Kenny Chadwell has qualified for re-election in the 4th District, as have Fred K. Phillips and former mayor’s office employee Shonda Gray. Incumbent Rick Russ will not be a candidate for commissioner.
In the 5th District, former candidate Harold Chambers is the only candidate to have qualified thus far. Several others have picked up qualifying papers, including appointed incumbent Paul Strunk, who recently replaced Trent Cross on County Commission. Also picking up paperwork are Tony Kidd, Kris Lewallen and Joe Tramell Jr. Notably, incumbent Robyn McBroom has not picked up qualifying papers.
In the 6th District, two candidates are squaring off: incumbent Patti Brown and former commission candidate Donnie Bowlin, who is employed by ETHRA. Incumbent Robin Newman has apparently decided against a re-election bid. Scott Puckett, manager of the Oneida Tractor Supply Co. store, picked up qualifying papers but has since withdrawn his name from consideration.
In the 7th District, incumbents Rick Burke and Mike Slaven have qualified, along with challenger Michael W. Knight. Two others have picked up qualifying papers: Benny Carson and Daniel Smith.
The four seats up for grabs on the Scott County Board of Education will feature slim ballots. Incumbents Tommy Silcox and Esther Abbott, who represent the 1st and 5th Districts, are unopposed, at least to date. In the 4th District, incumbent Kimberly Ross Kidd is being opposed by Johnny Russ. In the 7th District, Sharon Hall Marcum is the only candidate who has qualified for a seat that is being left open by John V. Thompson Sr., who will not seek re-election. Derek Sexton has picked up qualifying papers but has not returned them.
Two incumbents have qualified for a re-election bid on the Oneida Special School District Board of Education: Brom Shoemaker and Dorothy Hill Watson. The third incumbent, Mark Matthews, has picked up paperwork but hasn’t yet qualified. Challenger Sandy West Martin, a retired educator, has qualified.
The qualifying deadline is April 5.