Unopposed candidates still rack up the votes

By Kathy Helms-Hughes

STAR STAFF
khughes@starhq.com

   Three unopposed candidates in the Carter County General Election still took home more than 10,000 votes each on Thursday night.
   Carter County Road Superintendent Jack Perkins will begin his third term Sept. 1. Unofficial results, excluding those from Little Milligan Precinct which were unavailable at press time, showed Perkins winning the support of 10,949 voters.
   Perkins said his main objective for the Highway Department has always been to provide the most efficient service possible while giving the people the best run for their tax dollar and he plans to continue this policy in the future.
   Mary Gouge, who won her first term in 1998 as County Court Clerk, ended Thursday night with 11,087 votes, excluding the tally from Little Milligan, and is now looking at a second term. Gouge had been employed by the county clerk's office 31 years before winning her election bid in 1998. She is a member of the County Clerk's Association and the County Official's Association of Tennessee.
   Earlier in the campaign, Gouge expressed her gratitude to the people of Carter County for their past as well as their continuing support. "You are always welcome in my office," she said.
   Carter County Trustee Randal Lewis, also unopposed in his bid for office, garnered 10,458 votes, minus Little Milligan totals, and will begin his third term Sept. 1. Lewis won his first term in 1994.
   "I feel it is an honor and a privilege to serve the taxpayers of Carter County," Lewis said earlier in the campaign. He has pledged to maintain an open-door policy for any problems or concerns taxpayers may encounter.