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Lynch wins; School board gets three new faces; Challenge from two Democrats falls short

Unicoi County Mayor Greg Lynch, who won the Republican primary against four challengers, had no problem in the August General Election in dispatching a write-in challenge from Johnny Day.
Lynch came away with 90.14 percent of the vote. Write-in votes accounted for 9.86 percent, and not all of those were for Day. On early-voting tallies, some write-in votes were cast, for example, for Larry Rose, who came in second to Lynch in May and is a former county mayor.
Democrats were challenging the Republican picks in two districts — the 1st and 2nd, but in both instances, they came up short.
In the 1st District, Democrat Joseph Bailey received 237 votes — not enough for one of the three seats available, which went to the Republican Primary winners: Doug Bowman, 440; Loren Thomas, 393; and Gene Wilson, 381.
In the 2nd District, Democrat Rick Smith earned 178 votes — far short of what was needed to undo the Republican contingency of Kenneth Garland, 494; Bill Hensley, 491; and Sue Jean Wilson, 474.
Unicoi County Board of Education members were elected for the 1st and 3rd Districts. Two members are elected per district.
In the 1st District, where no incumbent was running, Judy Davis Webb, with 485 votes, and Victor Price, with 262 votes, won. Jennifer Kay Naslanic came in third, with 164 votes, and, thus, did not win a seat.
In the 3rd District, incumbent Renea Jones-Rogers easily won re-election with 533 votes. Rick Butler, a former county commissioner, won the second seat with 410 votes. Former school board member Lawrence Lingerfelt finished in a close third with 364 votes. Other candidates were Troy Clark, 186; and John Grindstaff, 284.
In the Republican race for governor, Unicoi County’s overwhelming chose Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey over Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp, but state election results had Haslam winning the Republican nod to face Democrat Mike McWherter, son of former Gov. Ned McWherter, in November.