Grainger Today Correspondent
RUTLEDGE – Former County Commissioner Mike Byrd has obtained a petition to possibly challenge incumbent County Mayor Mark Hipsher in the May 1 Grainger County Republican Primary.Hipsher had taken out a petition to seek a third term when qualifying began in November. He has not yet filed a completed petition with the election commission.
Byrd also ran for mayor in the 2014 primary
Also picking up a petition recently was Stephen C. Tucker for constable in the 1st District.
Democrats and Republicans in the 4th Judicial District, which includes Grainger County, will hold a primary to select nominees for circuit judge to fill the unexpired term of Judge Ben Hooper II, who recently retired. Lu Ann (Hatcher) Ballew of Jefferson County has become the second Republican to file for the primary. The other is Carter Moore of Cocke County. He is currently serving in an interim capacity since being appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam.
The deadline to qualify for both the county primary and the judicial primary is Feb. 15 at noon. Administrator of Elections Gina Hipsher said county Democrats will caucus this month to choose their nominees for the county general election, Aug. 2.