August ballot light, but diverse

By Thomas Wilson
STAR STAFF
twilson@starhq.com

   A election day potpourri of city and county elections and a state primary race await voters on the Aug. 5 county general election and state primary ballot.
   Incumbent state Rep. Jerome Cochran squares off against former assessor of property John B. Holsclaw Sr. Holsclaw, 2165 Dave Buck Rd., Johnson City, served as the county's tax assessor for 27 years until announcing his retirement in February of 2003. Cochran, 117 Creola Way, Johnson City, filed his candidacy papers for re-election in March. He represents the 4th District in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
   Carter County voters will cast their ballots for state primary and county general election offices Aug. 5, 2004. The two-week early voting period begins July 16 and runs through July 30. The state primary will be held Tuesday, Aug. 5, to select party nominees for the Nov. 2 general election.
   In a special city election, Bill J. Carter, 708 N. Pine St., faces challenger Judy Donley, 1207 Erie Lane for a two-year term to Elizabethton City Council. Carter was appointed to council in April of 2003 to serve out the term of Diane Morris who passed away in February of last year.
   Interim Assessor of Property Gerald Holly hopes to shed the "interim" label from his title after the August election. Holly easily won the county Republican primary in February besting Ted Weaver and George Fortner. Holly was appointed by the Carter County Commission to replace Holsclaw in April of 2003. He had previously served as the deputy assessor.
   He faces no Democratic challenger in August although Fortner has turned in paperwork to be a write-in candidate.
   The Tennessee General Assembly amended election laws pertaining to write-in candidates last year. To gain legitimate status as a write-in candidate, a citizen must fill out a certification of candidacy no later than 20 days before the election day. The law applies to all local and state offices.
   Four seats for the Carter County School Board will be on the county election ballot. In the county's 1st Educational District, Dale Colbaugh, 124 Creekbank Rd., and Wayne Pierce, 123 Low Gap Rd., will face off for the seat presently held by Ernest "Gebe" Ritchie.
   Incumbent board members Daniel Holder, 130 Beryl Blevins Rd., representing the 4th District and Bobby McClain, 814 Deerfield Lane, Hampton, representing the 6th District are running unopposed.
   No candidates have filed to run for the 8th District. Sitting board member Steve Chambers opted not to seek another term. If no write-in candidate qualifies by the July 16 deadline, the school board will likely be faced with appointing a board member. The 8th District seat would be back on the state and federal election ballot on Nov. 2.