County Commission will get new look after August ballot
by BRIAN GRAVES Banner Staff Writer
May 07, 2014 | 1131 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Election Ballots
ELECTION OFFICIALS prepare for the grueling process of calculating votes as the first ballots make their way into the Courthouse Annex. Banner photo, HOWARD PIERCE
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It will be a decidedly different Bradley County Commission next fall, with at least six new faces taking their place on the county’s chief administrative body.

Tuesday’s primary did not have the names of 1st District Commissioner Ed Elkins, 2nd District Commissioner Connie Wilson, 3rd District Commissioner Brian Smith, 4th District Commissioner J. Adam Lowe and 5th District Commissioner Bill Ledford, who all chose not to run for re-election.

The only incumbent on the ballot who was defeated was 6th District Commissioner Mel Griffith.

There will still be four districts that will have to go through the August General Election to determine which two candidates will take the position for their district.

District 1:

Incumbent Terry Caywood topped the other three running for a Commission seat in that district, pulling in 39.93 percent of the vote.

He will now be joined by Mike Hughes, who polled 27 percent and will take the retiring Elkins’ chair.

Hughes has a law enforcement background, having served as a school resource officer, an environmental officer, a property crimes detective and a task force officer for ATP.

He said he wants to be proactive in strategically planning for the district and the county.

District 2:

Commission Chairman Louie Alford easily retained his seat with 37.20 percent of the vote.

Thomas Crye received 28 percent of the vote and will fill Wilson’s slot.

Crye operates a real estate and appraisal business, and was a member and chairman of the original Bradley County Regional Planning Commission.

He has said he wants to see improvements in the school system as well as develop infrastructure to support expansion of jobs and industry.

District 3:

Incumbent Jeff Morelock will face Milan Blake and Johnny Mull in the August General Election to fill the district’s two positions.

District 4:

Incumbent Charlotte Peak-Jones was returned to office with 30.58 percent, but former Commissioner Howard Thompson was also returned to office after resigning in 2011 with the top vote count of 34.84 percent.

“I’d like to see better relations between the city and county governments,” Peak-Jones said upon hearing of her victory.

District 5:

Incumbent Jeff Yarber topped the vote count with 37.12 percent.

He will be joined on the August ballot by Bobby Goins, who came in second in the GOP primary, and Democratic candidate Jack Burke Jr.

District 6:

Incumbent Robert Rominger received the most votes with 22.53 percent.

Dan Rawls narrowly defeated incumbent Mel Griffith, 20.24 percent to 19.97 percent.

“There’s a lot of challenges ahead of us,” Rawls said. “With state budget shortfalls, that’s where I’m targeting.”

Rawls said he knows it is common to say no tax increase, but he added an increase in the county tax rate can stifle growth.

Rominger and Rawls, along with Democratic candidate E.J. Laughter, who received 64 votes in that party’s primary, will vie for the two positions in August.

District 7:

Incumbents Mark Hall and Bill Winters will once again appear on the ballot in August when Democrat Pam Edgemon will try to take one of their positions on the Commission.