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Candidates planning to run for election in 2014 began picking up their qualifying papers Wednesday for what will be a big election year in Tennessee and Lincoln County.
Voters here in Lincoln County will go to the polls two times during 2014, the first coming on Aug. 7, when state primaries will be held for the governor’s seat and a number of state offices, as well as numerous district and county posts. That is also when the proposed Lincoln County Charter will be on the ballot. The second election date here will be on Nov. 4 when winners from the August primary will be on the ballot as well as Fayetteville mayor, three aldermanic seats, and three seats on the city school board, as well as two constitutional amendments.
All qualifying petitions for the August elections must be filed no later than 12 noon on April 3.
State primaries on the August ballot will include those for governor, United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, Tennessee Senate and Tennessee House of Representatives, and state executive committeeman and committeewoman.
The county general election, held in conjunction with the primaries, will include those races for two circuit court judge positions, chancellor, district attorney general, public defender, county mayor, county commissioners for districts one through eight, county trustee, general sessions judge, sheriff, circuit court clerk, county clerk, register of deeds, road superintendent, and county school board members for districts one, three, five and seven.
Additionally, Petersburg city elections will be held in conjunction with the august ballot as well as a vote on judicial retention, and a referendum on the Lincoln County Charter.
If approved by voters, the Lincoln County Charter’s full impact would not be felt until 2018. The highlights of the Constitutional Home Rule Charter will place the power to effectively operate its government into the hands of Lincoln County citizens. It requires that any new taxes or tax increases to go before voters. It would also reduce the number of members on the Lincoln County Legislative Body from its current 24 to nine, and put in place term limits for those same officials as well as the county mayors office. In addition, there would be staggered elections for commissioners. Additionally, citizens of the county would be given many opportunities to speak at county government meetings, as well as the committee and board meetings where its business is conducted.
Candidates running for the sheriff’s position must file additional forms with the P.O.S.T. Commission by March 20. For the road superintendent, individuals must file additional paperwork with the Tennessee Highway Officials Certification Board by March 20. For the county school board members, persons must file a copy of their high school diploma or other proof of graduation.
A candidate’s qualifying petition is required to have 25 nominating signatures, other than the candidate’s signature, of people who are registered voters. Under state law, candidates for local elected office are required to file financial disclosure documents, although some exemptions apply. Under state law a candidate must file an appointment of treasurer form before the candidate spends or receives any money.
If a person has an unpaid civic penalty imposed by the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance, they cannot qualify to seek public office unless the penalty has been paid and the required report has been filed as documented by the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance.