Friday is voter registration deadline for Nov. 5 election

By Thomas Wilson

   Carter County citizens have until this Friday to register to vote in the November 5 election. Citizens may register to vote at the Carter County Election Commission.
   To register, a citizen must be a resident of Carter County. Persons who have been convicted of a felony crime are not permitted to vote unless they have received a restoration of citizenship.
   There were 31,235 registered voters in the county as of Monday, according to the Election Commission.
   Tennessee voters will be selecting a governor and U.S. senator in November. Elizabethton voters will also be choosing four city council members and two school board members in the city election.
   Gubernatorial candidates Democrat Phil Bredesen and Republican Van Hilleary along with 13 independent candidates are vying to be the state's next governor.
   Republican candidate and former governor Lamar Alexander will face Democratic nominee U.S. Rep. Bob Clement for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Fred Thompson.
   Jerome Cochran is running unopposed as Republican nominee to the state House of Representatives Third District seat. He defeated incumbent Ralph Cole in the GOP primary on August 1.
   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.
   Incumbent city council members Pat "Red" Bowers, Janie Smith McKinney, Diane Morris, and Sam Shipley are seeking re-election to the council.
   Challenging the sitting council members will be Sidney Cox, John W. Hughes, William "Don" Pectol, and Robert A. Smalling.
   The city school board race has three candidates vying for two seats. Incumbents Bob Berry and Catherine Armstrong are seeking reelection along with challenger William T. "Sonny" Hunt.
   The Nov. 5 ballot will also hold two statewide referendums. One will allow citizens to vote on changing the state Constitution to authorize the creation of a state lottery.
   The second referendum would permit the General Assembly to set the maximum fines in courts that are not heard by juries. The amendment is expected to apply primarily to city courts involving municipal ordinance violations.