New commissioners win in Aug. 6 elections

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Benton County elected two new faces to the County Commission on Election Day last Thursday. Once they are sworn in, Dwayne Fowler will replace Doug Vickers for the District 4 seat, while Mike Nunnery will replace Janet Higdon as a commissioner for District 5. Both Fowler and Nunnery pulled more than 70 percent of votes in their respective districts.

County voters selected incumbents Ryan Hall over Lynne Cagle for Assessor of Property in Benton County, and Vicki Hoover over Ben Harmon for Judicial District 24 Chancellor. 

Voter turnout for the August 6th election set a record for Benton County, according to Administrator of Elections Mark Ward. A total of 3,199 votes were cast in the election, with 2,176 voters visiting the Benton County Election Commission Office in Camden to cast an early vote. A total of 10,175 voters are registered in the county.

“Voter turnout was great. We had about double the turnout of what we saw in this same type of election four years ago,” Ward said. “I want to thank my staff, poll workers, and Election Commission board members Jim Austin, Russell King, Sue Roth, Ben Thompson, and Cindy Wheatley and for making sure everything ran smoothly.”

School Board members for each of the county’s six districts were re-elected with no opposition. These include Betty Jo Douglas (Dist. 1), Robert Livingston (2), Tim Hyatt (3), Judy Arnold (4), Joey Cooper (5), and Keith Peach (6). 

The election consisted of two parts, the county/state general election and a state/federal primary. The primary allowed voters to choose either Democrat or Republican candidates for the offices of U.S. Senate, District 7 or 8 of the U.S. House of Representatives, District 24 of the Tennessee Senate, and District 75 of the Tennessee House of Representatives.

In the U.S. Senate primary races, Bill Hagerty, a Republican from Gallatin, and Marquita Bradshaw, a Democrat from Memphis, emerged as their party leaders to face off on Tuesday, Nov. 3, in a race to replace retiring U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander.

In the race for the District 24 seat in the Tennessee Senate, John Stevens bested Casey Hood for the Republican nomination. With no democrats qualifying to run for the seat, Stevens will gain another term in the Tennessee Legislature. 

Tennessee House District 75 Representative Bruce Griffey also will return for another term in the Legislature. He ran unopposed, with no other Republican or Democrat contenders vying for the position.

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