By TONY STINNETT, Courier Sports Editor
Information regarding the necessity for a County General Election for the District 2 School Board seat was derived when Administrator of Elections Dorinda Mankin contacted the State Election Office with a question about an appointment to the position last week.
Instead, Mankin was informed the position would have to be placed on the ballot for the General Election in November because of the time frame between Chris Blackburn’s resignation and the timing of the General Election, Mankin said.
As a result, the District 2 School Board seat will be on the Nov. 4 ballot. Candidates have until noon, Sept. 10, to file qualifying petitions at the Cannon County Election Office. The withdrawal deadline is Sept. 12 at the close of business.
“I was asked to call (the State Election Office) to see if the Cannon County Commission appointed someone to the position and how long the appointment would be, whether two years or four,” Mankin explained. “When I called that’s when I found out this would have to be placed on the November ballot because of the time frame involved.”
Mankin said County Commissioners could appoint an individual to fill the seat vacated when Blackburn resigned until the November election if they desired.
Blackburn, who had served as District 2 School Board member for eight years, resigned from his position in June citing additional responsibilities in his family’s business. He was already on the ballot to run for the same seat in the August General Election.
Blackburn defeated write-in candidate Frank Walkup in the August election, generating a whopping 79.3 percent of the vote and winning in a landslide – 442-115. Blackburn recently announced he would also resign from the current seat he had won.
It was believed the Cannon County Commission would appoint Blackburn’s replacement; however, state election officials determined the time frame between Blackburn’s resignation and the November General Election required an additional election for the term, which is a four-year term.
District 2 School Board represents Auburntown, Pleasant Ridge and Short Mountain.
Mankin said placing the position on the ballot would not be additional cost to taxpayers.
“The November General Election was already budgeted,” Mankin said. “We are just adding another position to the ballot. We are not paying for another election.