RUTLEDGE – Anyone who is registered to vote as a Republican or Independent who has entertained the thought that government in Grainger County could be improved can throw their hat in the ring for the opportunity to enact change beginning Monday, December 20. 

That is the first day prospective Republican and Independent candidates for the offices of County Mayor, County Commission in Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, Trustee, General Sessions Judge, Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerk, County Clerk, Register of Deeds, Road Superintendent, School Board in Districts 1, 3 and 5, and Constable in Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 may begin picking up petitions. 

Other offices included in the County Primary include Circuit Court Judge Part I, Circuit Court Judge Part II, Circuit Court Judge Part III, Circuit Court Judge Part IV, Chancellor, District Attorney General and Public Defender. 

The qualifying deadline for the County Primary is Thursday, February 17 at noon. 

Independent candidates must also qualify by noon Thursday, February 17. Democrat candidates must qualify by caucus nomination. Independent and County Democrat Nominees won’t be listed on the ballot until the August 4 General Election. 

The withdrawal deadline is Thursday, February 24. The Republican Primary and Multi-County Democratic Judicial Primary will be held Tuesday, May 3.

Candidates may pick up petitions at the Grainger County Election Commission, 7701 Rutledge Pike, Rutledge, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The Election Commission will be closed from noon Wednesday, December 22 through Friday, December 24 and again Friday, December 31. 

The deadline to register to vote in the County Primary is Monday, April 4.