Mayor won't seek third term

By Thomas Wilson
star staff

  Elizabethton Mayor Sam LaPorte says he will not seek a third term to the City Council when his council term expires this year.
  "I've been mayor four years and on City Council eight years and I was ready for a break," LaPorte said on Monday. "I've really enjoyed myself and I feel like it is a good time to call it quits."
  LaPorte had not filed candidacy papers with the Carter County Election Commission as of Monday, two days before the filing deadline on Thursday.
  The mayor said he is proud of his service on the council and praised the progress the city has made in recent years. He also praised his fellow council members and the colleagues he has worked with during his time on the council.
  "The city is in good shape and we've got a lot done," he said. "I'm leaving the city in good hands."
  LaPorte was appointed to City Council by its members in July 1997 to fill the unexpired term of J.I. Cornett who died in office. He won a two-year term to council in July 1998 and a full four-year term in 2000. He was selected as the city's mayor by his fellow council members in 2000 and again in 2002 following former Mayor Ken Wandell.
  LaPorte's decision all but guarantees a new council member will take the reins as the council's chief executive officer following the November election. Six candidates are vying for the three at large council seats on the November ballot. Prospective city council candidates have until noon on Aug. 26 to submit qualifying papers with the election commission.
  A partner in the LaPorte and Norris law firm, LaPorte sits on the board of directors for Citizens Bank of the Tri-Cities as well as the Elizabethton Carter County Boys & Girls Club. He and his wife, Marlo LaPorte, are the parents of two children, Katie and Drew.