City voters get their turn in November

By Thomas Wilson
star staff
twilson@starhq.com

  City of Elizabethton voters will have their chance to exercise their democratic rights as three at large seats on the City Council and Board of Education come up for election on the Nov. 2 ballot.
  With the candidates' qualifying deadline set at noon on Thursday, six individuals had qualified as candidates Monday for the City Council race in November. Sitting members Nancy Alsup, 400 W. Mill St., and Richard Sammons, 2310 Armour Dr., have qualified to seek new terms on the council. Other citizens qualifying for the council election are Richard "Curt" Alexander, 124 Messimer Lane; Robert Gobble, 400 M St.; Charles LaPorte, 706 Allen Ave.; and Thomas Whitehead, 705 West G St.
  Notably absent from the council candidate list is sitting Elizabethton Mayor Sam LaPorte who opted not to seek another term. While LaPorte is departing the council, another family member is testing the political waters. Council qualifier Charles LaPorte of LaPorte Construction in Elizabethton is the mayor's cousin.
  Elizabethton voters will also decide who will serve in three seats on the endlessly fascinating Elizabethton Board of Education.
  The seven candidates for the city school board who had qualified through Monday were incumbents Judy Richardson and Dr. Bob Sams, as well as challengers Connie Baker, 811 Watauga Ave.; Patricia Bellamy, 804 Johnson Ave.; Rita Booher, 305 West I St.; Matt Cooter, 504-C West I St.; and William Hunt, 411 East K St.
   If the candidate filing status holds, the BOE will see at least one new face come November - sitting board member Dr. Jonathan Bremer had not filed his candidacy papers as of Monday afternoon.
  The November ballot also gives residents living in the county's 4th District the opportunity to select one new county commissioner. Former 4th District Commissioner Chuck Culler stepped down earlier this year after being diagnosed with cancer.
  Citizens who filed papers seeking the 4th District commission seat are Roberta Bowers, 1112 Bluefield Ave.; Steven Lowrance, 927 DeJarnette St.; Gary Lewis, 115 Don Wilson Rd.; Steven Pearson, 115 Crestview Dr.; and Louis C. Tester, 900 E. Elk Ave., a deputy sergeant with the Carter County Sheriff's Department.
  Elizabethton City Judge Lewis Merryman is seeking another four-year term in the city election as well. He is the sole candidate to submit qualifying papers for the city judge's office.
  Citizens have until noon Thursday to submit candidacy papers qualifying them for any city or county race on the Nov. 2 ballot.