Commission newcomers lead way in five county districts

By Thomas Wilson

   Have we met?
   A wholesale changing of the guard occurred on the Carter County Commission, according to unofficial voting results in Thursday's county election.
   Eight incumbent commissioners were voted out and a total of 11 new commissioners are poised to step into office when the 24-member county commission reconvenes in September.
   Approximately 50 percent of Carter County residents -- 15,444 voters -- cast their votes in Thursday's county general election and state primary, according to an election summary of the Carter County Election Commission.
   The 1st District will have three new faces.
   Lawrence Hodge led the trio of winners with 878 votes followed by retired Johnson City Fire Chief Doug Buckles with 845 votes and Elizabethton firefighter Jackson Buckles who got 715 votes.
   Incumbents Adeline Hyder and Buford Peters finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
   Amos Stevens, Jr., won his first term on the county commission in the 2nd District. He capture 639 votes to lead the winning ticket along with fellow newcomer Al Meehan and incumbent Wayne Holtsclaw.
   City of Elizabethton building code officer Thomas "Yogi" Bowers is also a new county commissioner from the 4th District, leading 4th District candidates with 848 total votes, according to unofficial election results.
   Bowers joined incumbents Chuck Culler and Phillp Nave to represent the Courthouse, East Side and Siam communities.
   Incumbent Commissioner Wayne Smith had previously represented the 4th District until population redistricting initiated by the U.S. Census moved him into the 6th District where he finished fifth among eight candidates.
   Hampton Tire owner John G. Lewis led 6th District candidates with 784 votes in his second commission campaign. He will join incumbent Terry Montgomery who finished second with 754 votes and John D. Snyder who earned 712 votes.
   Sitting 5th District Constable Richard Tester made an impressive showing by leading all 7th District candidates with 762 votes. Tester knocked off incumbent Sidney Cox to join winning incumbents Jeffrey Treadway and Lynn Tipton.
   Incumbents Ted Weaver of the 1st District and Don Treadway of the 8th District did not run for re-election while 6th District Commissioner Brad Green ran for the county executive's office, finishing fourth.
   Among county constables, Willie C. Mathes beat incumbent Lawrence Dial 788 votes to 729 votes to join 3rd District incumbent Bobby Canter, according to unofficial results.
   In the 5th District constable race, Larry M. Presnell, Jr., narrowly defeated Charlotte R. Walker by 479 to 456 votes in the race to fill the second seat vacated by Tester. Incumbent Constable Joe C. Lunceford won re-election in the 5th District.
   In the Register of Deeds race, incumbent Johnny Holder fought off a game challenge by Paul P. Buck with 7,235 votes to Buck's 6,622 votes, according to unofficial results provided by the Election Commission.
   Holder won 14 county precincts including his home precinct of the Courthouse while Buck took seven precincts and narrowly won early voting results.
   All election winners officially begin their terms of office when they are sworn at the next county commission meeting on Sept. 9.
   Voting totals released by the Election Commission included machine and paper ballots. The results are unofficial until certified by the Commission.