Three Elections Set For 2012

KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor

Three Elections Set For 2012
Three elections are on tap for Cannon County voters during 2012. 

Elections are scheduled in March, August and November.

Elected offices and issues on the ballots range from electing a president to possibly approving an increase in the local option sales tax. 

The first election is scheduled for March 6. That election will be a presidential primary to select the Republican and Democrat party candidates for the November election.

There will be nine Republicans and one Democrat on the March presidential primary ballot.  

The Republican candidates are: Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Charles "Buddy" Roemer, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.  

The lone Democrat is President Barack Obama. 

Also in March will be Republican primaries for two county offices, Fourth District Commissioner and Property Assessor. GOP candidates on the ballot are Rebeka Parton for the commission seat and Keith Morris for property assessor. 

Parton is a former county commissioner. She gave up her seat in 2010 to run for county executive. She is running for the seat currently held by Tony Neal. Neal was appointed to the seat in January 2011 when its former holder, Joe Wimberly, passed away.

The last day to register to vote in the March primary is Feb. 6. Early voting for the March primary begins Feb. 15 and ends on Feb. 28.

A County General Election will be held in August. Voters will choose a Property Assessor, Road Commissioners for Zones One, Two and Three, School Board members for Districts One, Three and Four, and a County Commissioner for District Four, who will serve the remainder of Wimberly's four-year term.

August will also be a primary election for state offices. One of Tennessee's two U.S. Senate seats is up for election in 2012, the one currently held by Sen. Bob Corker. A primary for State House of Representatives will also be held in August. Mark Pody currently serves as Cannon County's state house representative. He is serving his first term in the 46th District seat.

August will also serve as the primary for the Tennessee Sixth District U.S. House of Representative's seat, which is currently held by Diane Black.

The November election will also be for President, U.S. Senator, Tennessee State House of Representatives plus Town of Woodbury and City of Auburntown offices.

Woodbury voters will elect a mayor and six aldermen to four-year terms. In addition, voters in Auburntown will select a mayor and five aldermen.

There will also likely be a referendum on the August ballot asking Cannon County voters whether or not they approve of a 1 percent increase in the local option sale tax, raising it from the current 1.75 percent to 2.75 percent.

The Cannon County Commission passed a resolution at its December meeting seeking a referendum on the proposed sales tax  increase.

Some important changes in the voting process have been implemented since the last local election in 2010. One is that most voters will be required to present an excepted form of photo identification when they go to the polls.