By Richard Rourk
In Unicoi County, several offices are up for grabs on Nov. 3.
Local candidates had until Thursday, Aug. 20, to submit qualifying papers to appear on the ballot to the Unicoi County Election Commission.
In the Town of Erwin, there will be a new mayor elected on Nov. 3. Current Mayor Doris Hensley announced earlier this year that she would not seek reelection.
There will be three names competing for Hensley’s seat – current Alderman Michael Baker, current Unicoi County Commissioner Glenn White and Cathy J. Huskins.
Also in Erwin, there will be four candidates competing for two Aldermen seats. Current Alderwoman Rachelle Hyder-Shurtz will face off against Paula Kay Edwards, James (Mickey) Hatcher and Gary Schwenke Jr. for the two open spots.
In the Town of Unicoi, incumbent Mayor Johnny Lynch will once again face off against Alderwoman Kathy Bullen. Lynch and Bullen vied for the seat in 2016, when Lynch edged Bullen out by just 27 votes to remain in office.
Three candidates are vying for two open seats for aldermen in the Town of Unicoi. Current Alderman Jeff Linville will face off against former alderman Roger Cooper and Debbie Bennett.
According to Unicoi County Elections Administrator Sarah Fain, the Unicoi County Election Commission will meet on Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 10:30 a.m. to review and approve the petitions. “Both towns will elect a mayor and two aldermen,” Fain said. “We will also have the President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and Tennessee House races on the ballot, but we do not have the full list of those candidates yet.”
Along with the Presidential election, which will pair incumbent candidates Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence to face off against Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for the presidency and vice presidency respectively, several state seats will be up for grabs.
In Tennessee, the race for retiring U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander’s seat will pit Republican nominee Bill Hagerty versus Democrat Marquita Bradshaw.
Also retiring is the U.S. Representative Phil Roe. Competing for Roe’s vacant seat on Nov. 3 will be Republican nominee Diana Harshbarger and Democratic nominee Blair Walsingham.