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Candidates start picking up petitions for Kingsport election

Matthew Lane • Jan 9, 2019 at 7:15 PM

KINGSPORT — It’s been two weeks since would-be candidates have been able to pick up petitions to run in the upcoming city election. Since then, six people have picked up, and one has already filed his petition.

Municipal elections in Kingsport, Bristol and Bluff City will take place on May 21. In Kingsport, four seats are up for grabs on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen — the ones currently held by Mayor John Clark, Vice Mayor Mike McIntire, Alderman Joe Begley and Alderman Tommy Olterman.

Three seats on the Kingsport Board of Education are also on the ballot. Those are currently held by Todd Golden, Susan Lodal and Karen Reed-Wright.

THE RACE FOR MAYOR

According to the Sullivan County Election Commission, two people have picked up petitions to run for mayor: McIntire on Dec. 27 and Gary Lane on Dec. 28.

McIntire was elected to the BMA in 2011 and has served as vice mayor since 2013. He originally picked up a petition to run for mayor in 2015, but changed his mind and successfully ran for a second term as alderman.

Lane, an electrician who has worked at Domtar for 30 years, has made two previous bids for the mayoral seat — in 2013 (garnering nearly 43 percent of the vote against then-Mayor Dennis Phillips) and again in 2015 (coming in last in a field of five candidates).

After learning that McIntire had picked up to run for mayor, Lane said in a phone interview that he plans to withdraw his petition and not pursue the race any further.

“I plan to support him in his bid for mayor,” Lane said.

WHO ELSE HAS PICKED UP?

Olterman, elected to the BMA in 2015, picked up a petition for alderman on Dec 28. Olterman is a former Sullivan County commissioner (serving six years in the 1980s) and spent 30 years working in economic development (both with the state of Tennessee and the Tennessee Valley Authority). He made a failed bid for the Sullivan County Commission last fall.

Darrell Duncan is making a third attempt at winning an alderman seat on the BMA, after coming in a close fourth in two runs for office in 2015 and 2017. He was appointed to serve out the remaining two years of Clark’s alderman seat following the election of 2015. Duncan picked up his petition on Monday.

Brian Barker, an insurance agent and owner of BBI Insurance Group of Kingsport, picked up a petition to run for alderman on Dec. 27.

Finally, in the BOE race, Golden picked up a petition on Jan. 2 and returned it on Monday.

Candidates have until noon on Feb. 21 to file their petitions.

BY THE NUMBERS

In the 2017 city election, 3,802 voters came out to the polls. Kingsport has more than 29,000 registered voters. Here are who won and how many votes they received.

In the eight-way race for the four-year terms on the BMA:

— Alderwoman Colette George: 2,054

— Alderwoman Betsy Cooper: 1,755

— Alderwoman Jennifer Adler: 1,472

And in the two-man race for a two-year term on the BMA

— Alderman Joe Begley: 2,153 

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