The event, which is being organized by the Mount Carmel Public Library, will give residents an opportunity to meet the town’s seven alderman candidates seeking three available seats in the Nov. 6 election.
Attendees will be permitted to submit questions to the candidates.
The candidates are Garrett White, the lone incumbent, who was appointed earlier this year; James L. Gilliam; Melinda Danielle Fleishour; Darby Patrick; Denise Livesay; Pat Stilwell; and Steven McLain. Husband and wife Aldermen Eugene Christian and Margaret Christian chose not to seek re-election.
Early voting has begun
Aside from the state and federal elections on the ballot, Hawkins County has contested races in all five municipalities, as well as Bean Station, which is mostly in Grainger County but has a small neighborhood in Hawkins County as well.
Early voting in Hawkins County began Wednesday and continues until Thursday, Nov. 1 at two locations: the courthouse in Rogersville and the Church Hill Rescue Squad station, 351 W. Main Blvd.
As of the end of voting Friday, 2,805 people had cast ballots: six from Bulls Gap, 551 from Church Hill, 311 from Mount Carmel, 234 from Rogersville, 108 from Surgoinsville and 1,595 from non-municipal areas.
In the first three days of early voting, there have been 1,080 ballots cast in Rogersville and 1,517 in Church Hill, with the balance of early votes so far coming from absentee ballots, military or nursing homes.
Early voting hours
In Church Hill: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until noon.
Rogersville: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.
The last weekday of early voting, Thursday, Nov. 1, polls will remain open until 8 p.m. at both locations.
Hawkins County’s other municipal elections
Bulls Gap has a contested mayoral race with current Alderman Betsy Shipley and Bulls Gap Volunteer Fire Department Chief Charles “Chucky” Johnson seeking the seat vacated by Jimmy Sexton, who is running for alderman. Sexton is one of two candidates seeking two available alderman seats, along with incumbent Glenn Snelson Jr.
Church Hill has a four-way race for three available alderman seats including incumbent B.D. Cradic, recently elected County Commissioner Keith Gibson, Michael Bell and Michael Walker. Current Aldermen Mark Drinnon and Billy Kyle Housewright chose not to seek re-election.
In Surgoinsville, Mayor Merrell Graham is seeking a second term, but he is being challenged by former Alderman Larry Dykes. The Surgoinsville alderman race has two candidates seeking three available seats: incumbent John Sandidge and newcomer Matthew Somers. The third seat will be appointed by the BMA after the election. Aldermen Dennis Anderson and Tim Holt opted not to seek re-election.
Rogersville has a five-way race for three available Rogersville City School Board of Education seats among incumbents Barbara Beets-Combs, Gerald Trent and Scott Trent, who are being challenged by Julie Phillips and Andrew Poe.
Bean Station has a three-way race for the mayoral seat being vacated by Terry Wolfe. The candidates are Ben Waller, Jimmie Seals and Alderman Patsy Winstead-Harrell. There’s also a five-way race for two available alderman seats featuring Sandra Wieber, incumbent Mickey Ankrom, John McMurray, Eddie Douglas and Junior Sizemore.