State candidates move toward November campaign

By Thomas Wilson

   Candidates seeking state offices have just over six weeks remaining before the Nov. 5 state election.
   In one of the few contested state races in the upstate, incumbent Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City, will seek re-election against Democratic nominee Richard D. Gabriel of Gray and independent candidate Charlie Mattioli of Elizabethton in November.
   The three-term incumbent reported a fund balance of over $45,300 after July 22. Crowe spent $37,709 during the final two weeks of the primary campaign, according to his campaign financial disclosure report submitted to the Washington County Election Committee.
   Gabriel reported no balance and no new contributions for the post-primary reporting period, according to his post-primary disclosure report. Mattioli reported receiving $100 in new donations and a campaign fund balance of $750.
   Crowe fought off the challenge of Republican Kevin Cole in the August primary. He picked up an additional $4,797 in contributions during the primary campaign's final two weeks. He reported disbursements of over $37,700 during the primary campaign with a balance of more than $12,000 remaining.
   Elizabethton's Jerome Cochran is running opposed in November to represent Carter County in the House of Representatives after knocking off incumbent Rep. Ralph Cole in the Republican primary.
   Cole reported approximately $76,000 in his campaign war chest for the Jan. 1 through the post-primary election period in his financial disclosure statement submitted to the Carter County Election Commission. Cole reported spending roughly $22,000 in campaign disbursements during the campaign's final two weeks.
   Cochran reported raising over $5,300 through July 22 and garnered an additional $2,400 in contributions. He reported spending just over $6,300 between the post-primary reporting period of July 23 and Sept. 15.
   All local and state candidates were required to submit their post-primary campaign financial disclosure reports submitted by state candidates on Sept. 18. Candidates are required to submit their disclosure statements to the election commission of the county where the candidate resides.
   Crowe is one of only a handful of upstate lawmakers facing a challenge in November.
   Newcomer Steve Southerland of Morristown defeated incumbent Sen. Tommy Haun of Greene in the Republican primary. Southerland has no Democratic challenger.
   Incumbent Reps. Steve Godsey, R-Blountville, and David Davis, R-Jonesborough, are running unopposed in the general election.
   David Hawk of Greeneville unseated 12-term incumbent Zane C. Whitson in the Republican primary in August. Hawk is also running unopposed in November.
   Rep. Bob Patton, R-Johnson City, is facing Democratic challenger Mark Thomas of Johnson City while Rep. Jason Mumpower, R-Bristol, will square off against Democratic nominee Van Carrier of Bluff City.
   The most heavily contested state primary in Northeast Tennessee was the 2nd District House seat in Sullivan County.
   Democratic nominee Nathan Vaughn, Republican nominee Robert "Bob" Miller and independent candidate Glen Moody will square off for the seat previously held by incumbent Keith Westmoreland.
   Westmoreland committed suicide in June only days after being arrested in Florida on a charge of indecent exposure.