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Majority of candidates disappoint by not pledging

Our publisher, Mark A. Stevens, asked every candidate seeking office in Unicoi County this year to sign off on a pledge promising to follow state law in regards to the state’s open meetings and public records law. It should have been easy. After all, the pledge simply promised to follow the law.
Disappointingly, though, only a handful of candidates returned their pledge to follow the law and promise to “always be honest with you,” the voters.
Not only was the pledge published in the March 16 newspaper, but a follow-up reminder was posted on the newspaper’s Facebook page, too.
We said we’d tell readers who followed through on the pledge, and we commend each of the politicians who did sign the pledge and made a promise that the people must always come first.
County Trustee Paul Berry, we’d like to point out, returned his signed pledge first thing Tuesday morning. Good for him!
Here are the other candidates who, throughout the week, brought in hand-written and signed pledges: Sheriff Kent Harris; circuit court clerk candidates Mari Fanning, Eddie Foster and Darren Shelton; county mayor candidates Ron Arnold, Greg Lynch and Larry Rose; county clerk candidates Mitzi Bowen and Patty Treadway; Road Superintendent Terry Haynes; and county commission candidates Rossanna Aldrich, Kenneth E. Garland, Loren Thomas and Sue Jean Wilson. We will still be happy to accept signed pledges this week, too, and report back on that count in next week’s paper.