Large field of candidates slated for Kingsport election

Matthew Lane • Feb 13, 2019 at 8:15 AM

KINGSPORT — The upcoming municipal election is shaping up to have one of the largest fields of candidates in recent years.

Within the past week, four more potential candidates have picked up petitions to run in the city election — two for mayor, one for alderman and another for the Board of Education.


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 — the ones currently held by Todd Golden, Susan Lodal and Karen Reed-Wright.

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


In the race for mayor, two more have picked up petitions to run: Anthony Browder (of Bailey Ranch Road) and Joe Carr (of Berkeley Road). The Times News could not reach Browder for comment on Tuesday.

Carr, who turns 23 in March, graduated from Dobyns-Bennett High School in 2014, attended the University of Tennessee and plans to enroll at East Tennessee State University this summer and pursue a degree in political science.

“I’m running for mayor, I don’t expect to win, but I think there’s issues we’re not addressing,” Carr said. “We need to wake up and smell the roses. We’re falling behind Johnson City and Bristol is catching up to us.”

Christopher Bulle, who works for Bank of Tennessee, picked up a petition to run for alderman. Bulle, 26, has lived in Kingsport his entire life, attending both ETSU and UT. He’s a member of PEAK (Kingsport’s young professionals organization), has worked in business development in New York and dabbled in politics. It’s his first time running for political office.

“I’ve always cared about Kingsport,” Bulle said, as to why he’s running for alderman. “I’m concerned about the direction (the city) is going. ... I haven’t seen many people my age stand up and I want to lead and direct Kingsport. That’s what’s motivated me to run.”

Julie Byers has picked up and filed her petition to run for a seat on the BOE. Byers has not run for school board before, though she did run for mayor in 2005. She retired from Eastman a few years ago, stays busy with volunteer work (Scouts and the Science in the Schools program) and is looking to go back to work in the near future.

“Susan Lodal has been on my case to run (in the past), but I didn’t feel like the time was right with the age of my kids,” Byers said. Now that her two children are older (a sophomore and junior at DB), the time to run is better. “There’s many things coming down with the school board ... rezoning, the moving of schools, consolidation … There’s going to be whole lot of activity on the board, and because of that, I felt the timing was right. And I believe having a strong voice on board would be beneficial to the community.”

Here’s a rundown of the other potential candidates in the upcoming city election.


— Dennis Mabb: owner of Waste Knot Solutions. Picked up a petition, but not yet filed.

— Mike McIntire: current vice-mayor, retired from Eastman. McIntire has filed his petition.

— Pat Shull: retired U.S. Army colonel, former alderman and current Sullivan County commissioner. Shull has filed his petition.

— Nathan Vaughn: former state representative, former vice-mayor, local insurance agent. Picked up a petition, but not yet filed.


— Brian Barker: insurance agent and owner of BBI Insurance Group of Kingsport. Picked up a petition, but not yet filed.

— Darrell Duncan: real estate agent, retired Eastman employee and former alderman. Duncan has filed his petition.

— Chris Mills: maintenance worker at Walmart. Mills has filed his petition.

Tommy Olterman: current alderman, former Sullivan County commissioner and retired economic development specialist. Olterman has filed his petition.

James Phillips: son of former Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips, local landlord and entrepreneur. Phillips has filed his petition.


— Joe Cerone: retired and political campaign manager for nearly 50 years. Picked up a petition, but not yet filed.

— Shelton Clark: co-owner of Model City Tap House and brother of former Dobyns-Bennett football coach Graham Clark. Clark has filed his petition.

— Liv Detwiler: Spanish professor at East Tennessee State University. Detwiler has filed her petition.

— Jennifer Feathers: works at Workspace Interiors, wife of Bob Feathers (chairman of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce). Picked up a petition, but not yet filed.

— Todd Golden: current member of the BOE and a senior sales specialist for Novartis (Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company). Golden has filed his petition.

— Jim Welch: retired educator for Kingsport City Schools (30 years). Welch has filed his petition.

Kingsport Times News Videos