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Officials sworn in during ceremony before meeting of Unicoi County Commission

Unicoi County Mayor Garland “Bubba” Evely was sworn in by Judge David Shults after collecting 83% the vote in the recent election.

By Ty Butler

The Unicoi County Commission held swearing-in ceremonies Monday, Aug. 22, to welcome newly elected officials, while reintroducing the usual faces for those

who reclaimed their seats in the recent election.

Unicoi Mayor Garland “Bubba” Evely was sworn into another term, which he secured after defeating Independent candidate Bralen Diamond by nearly 1,000 votes. Evely was the first to take the stand, raising his right hand to be sworn in by Judge David Shults.

Evely’s second term is well on its way. During an Aug. 8 interview the mayor laid out some of his major plans for the county, including a $4.1 million infrastructure improvement to the county’s water and sewer system, which is set to take effect “within the next couple of years.”

Loren Tomas and Jamie Harris both made an appearance at the ceremony after regaining their District 1 seats on the commission. Tim Lingerfelt was added to the slate as well after collecting 34% of the votes. Lingerfelt replaces Marie Rice, who declined to run for another term.

During Monday evening’s commission meeting that followed the ceremony, Rice reflected on her time with the board.

“I’m real pleased that we now have balanced budgets, and I hope that continues going forward.

“I appreciate my family and everyone that’s supported me all of these years,” Rice added.

Brian Delp and Jason Harris received an endorsement from voters, each tallying over 30% of votes. The two welcomed their newest member in District 2, Wayne Edwards, who captured 34% of the county’s vote to secure the third seat representing the district. 

District 3 remained the same, as Stephen Hendrix, John W. Mosley and Cody Scott all reinforced their position for a second go-around. 

Members of the county school board were also recognized during the ceremony.

Cathy J. Thomas and Tammy Tipton succeeded in their electoral efforts for the board’s District 1, while Steven Scott made another ceremonial trip after claiming his seat, alongside Steven Willis in School Board District 3.

Katie Bennett, who gathered 1,098 votes to claim the office of Unicoi County Trustee, also swore her oath of office.

Steven Willis, Steven Scott, Tammy Tipton and Cathy J. Thomas are welcome to the Unicoi County Board of Education after getting sworn in by Judge David Shults.
Judge David Shults addresses the commissioners who will be serving on the Unicoi County Commission for the next two years.