Grainger Today Correspondent
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect a correct date of May 1, 2018 for the Grainger County Republican Primary and the correct date of November 17, 2017 for candidates to begin picking up petitions. The article previously erroneously reported those dates as May 2, 2018 for the Grainger County Republican Primary and November 15, 2017 as the date candidates could begin picking up petitions.
RUTLEDGE – As sure as a robin is the first sign of spring, in politics the first day of qualifying is a sure sign an election is near.
Candidates for office can begin picking up petitions for the May 1, 2018 Grainger County Republican Primary next Friday, November 17. Every countywide office, except property assessor, will be on the ballot, along with county commission, constable and a primary to fill a vacancy in circuit court for the 4th Judicial District.
Countywide offices to be contested are county mayor, sheriff, circuit court clerk, county clerk, trustee, register of deeds and road superintendent.
Three county commissioners will be elected from each of the county’s five civil districts. One constable is elected to represent each district. All county elections will be for four-year terms.
The judicial primary will be to fill the unexpired term of Circuit Judge Ben W. Hooper II, who retired recently. His term expires in 2022. The circuit includes Grainger, Cocker, Jefferson and Sevier Counties.
Qualifying ends February 15. Petitions for county offices must contain the signatures of at least 25 eligible voters in the county. Signatures on petitions for County Commission or constable must be those of eligible voters in the candidate’s district.
Candidates for the judicial post can obtain signatures from eligible voters within the judicial circuit.
Primary winners will advance to the August 2 general election. County Democrats traditionally select their candidates by caucus.
August 2 is also the date for the state primary election for both Democrats and Republicans, with qualifying to start Jan. 5. With several offices having open seats, activity is expected to be heavy.
Gov. Bill Haslam is term limited, and U.S. Sen. Bob Corker will not seek reelection. Closer to home, U.S. Rep John J. Duncan Jr. has announced he will retire after more than 30 years in Congress.
The 35th House District currently occupied by State Rep. Jerry Sexton will also be on the state primary slate, as will elections for state executive committee.
Qualifying for those offices ends [Text Wrapping Break]April 5.