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Hensley wins reelection, Manuel and Treadway victorious

Mitch Manuel

By Richard Rourk

Voters expressed a desire for both change and the status quo in Tuesday’s primary election. In the sheriff’s race, incumbent Michael Hensley coasted to reelection, but incumbent County Court Clerk Mitzi Bowen went down in defeat to challenger Patty Treadway. 

The winners in the just finished primary races will, for the most part, run unopposed in the general election set for Aug. 4.

In a closely contested race to replace retiring Unicoi County General Sessions Judge David Shults, Mitch Manuel defeated Joseph David Shults by 219 votes. 

Treadway defeated Bowen in the County Clerk race by 775 votes. 

“Thank you to the citizens of Unicoi County for placing your trust in me,” Manuel said after his win. “I am humbled and honored to be your next General Sessions Judge. Thank you for your prayers and continued support.”

Tim Lingerfelt grabbed the most votes in the Unicoi County Commissioners race in District 1 and is joined by current Unicoi County Commission Chairman Loren Thomas and current Unicoi County Vice Chairman Jamie Harris to secure the three seats up for grabs in District 1. 

“I would like to thank everyone for their confidence in me,” Lingerfelt told The Erwin Record following the closing of the polls. “It will be an honor to serve the citizens of the first district of Unicoi County. I also look forward to serving with the other winners of the commission.”

In District 2, current Commissioners Jason Harris and Brian Delp are joined by newcomer Wayne Edwards and in District 3, current commissioners Stephen Hendrix, Cody Scott and John Mosley secured their spots in the Unicoi County Commission races.

Unicoi County Sheriff Mike Hensley won reelection in what may be his final term as Unicoi County Sheriff. 

“I want to thank everyone that has supported me in this election,” Hensley said. “I want to thank my family for standing by me and last but not least, I want to thank God for being with me and giving me guidance. I ran on my record and I will continue to serve and protect the citizens of this county to the best of my ability.”

Hensley has stated that he plans on retiring following this four-year term of office.

In the regional primary races, Lois Shults Davis performed well in her home county, running a tough race against Suzanne Cook, who was victorious in the contest for Circuit Court Judge 2.

Despite winning in Unicoi County with 60.52 percent of the vote, Shults Davis lost to Cook, 13,469 votes to 9,276, securing 40.78%  compared to 59.22% for Cook when results in other counties were counted.

Cook, who has practiced at every judicial level in Tennessee, as well as instructed law at the University of Tennessee Law School, commented that she is excited to serve. 

Bralen Diamond will be on the Aug. 4 General Election ballot as an Independent candidate for Unicoi County Mayor.

Patty Treadway

According to the Unicoi County Election Commission Administrator Sarah Fain, there were no Democrats seeking local offices during the primaries and only one independent candidate will be on the ballot for the general election. 

“We did not have any Democrats submit petitions,” Fain said. 

All results will remain unofficial until the State verifies them.

The Aug. 4 general election will also feature seats up for grabs on the Unicoi County Board of Education.

Look for complete results as results are updated on and in next week’s print edition.