Loudon County will see plenty of familiar faces in elected positions over the next four years after incumbents took the majority of races in the May 1 primary election.
Rollen “Buddy” Bradshaw will remain Loudon County’s mayor for the next term. He defeated Loudon County Commission Chairman Steve Harrelson 4,585 votes to 3,769.
“It’s adrenaline just dumps when you start seeing the results, seeing it added up,” Bradshaw said. “I knew chairman Harrelson ran a good race. I knew he was going to be a strong opponent, and so I knew I had to get out and work hard, and that’s what I did. Looking at the shoe leather I’ve went through again this time around, it’s rewarding. When it all comes together it’s so rewarding. This isn’t just for me, this is for my supporters, my family — I have to thank my family. This is a team effort. To have friends and relatives to rally around, that’s just incredible. I’m truly blessed.”
Harrelson believes both sides worked hard and congratulated Bradshaw on the win.
“I just thought Buddy worked hard and did a good job, and I just want to congratulate him on the next four years of being Loudon County mayor,” Harrelson said.
Bradshaw won nine of the 15 precincts and had the largest vote total in any precinct with 658 votes in Loudon, where Harrelson garnered just 218 votes. Harrelson’s highest vote total came in Eaton where he received 619 votes to Bradshaw’s 452.
“It’s back to work,” Bradshaw said. “Of course, I’ll have to pick up a lot of signs, but it is back to work. We’ll keep on going on the route we’re going on, and we’re going to continue to try to make Loudon County better every single day. This is, it’s a load off. It’s not more 16- to 20-hour days, and we’re going to go back to work and keep right on going.”
While Harrelson will not retain an elected seat in Loudon County after the August county general election, he does plan to make the most of the time he has remaining.
“Just to keep working for the citizens of Loudon County,” he said. “It’s been an honor to serve Loudon County for the past 12 years. I want to do what I can to prepare Loudon County Commission for the next four years and just keep Loudon County going in the right direction.”
Guider wins big
Voters also selected longtime incumbent Sheriff Tim Guider to another four-year term.
Guider received 5,577 votes, Robert “Scott” Newman had 2,253 votes and Marty Ward carried 658 votes.
Last week’s result marks the eighth consecutive term Guider has served as county sheriff.
“Today’s just been an outstanding day,” Guider said after hearing the results. “Everybody worked so hard, and it’s very stressful. This has been a yearlong campaign. We announced a year ago this month that we would be running again and it’s been a long year. I can’t say enough for the staff that I think they’ve been very patient with me, and we’ve had a tough year when it comes to some of the things that we’ve had to deal with.”
Guider said he felt “happy and blessed” to have been re-elected, and was glad to get the election behind him so he could get back to work.
Newman said he had fun campaigning and looked forward to continuing to serve on the Loudon County Board of Education.
“I think I worked about as hard as I could,” Newman said, noting the results were disappointing. “I got to meet a lot of really, really great people in Loudon County. I kind of went out there with a message and the folks of Loudon County feel that Tim Guider is still doing a good job and that’s fine. I actually wish Tim the best four years of his career because when he does good Loudon County does good. He’s been nothing but a gentleman during this whole election and congratulations to him.”
Ward felt he did the best he could with the time and money he had available for a campaign that was a “tremendous experience.”
“With what we had to work with, with the money we had to work with, the time that I had to work with, I’m not disappointed at all,” Ward said. “I know across the county a lot of people listened to what I had to say, and I know that they paid attention to what I was saying, and I think that’s probably moving forward. Some of these people are going to kind of force the issue with the current administration and maybe make some changes. I think Tim listened to what I had to say. He and I have talked through this whole thing and I think he’s been impressed with the way I ran this campaign and I’ve been impressed with the way he ran his.”
Ward hopes to run again in four years.
Loudon County will also see several other elected officials for another term.
Harold Duff defeated Richard Truitt 1,394 to 367 for District 5, Seat A. Henry Cullen will continue to serve Tellico Village as District 7 commissioner, defeating Susan Gingrich 949 to 570.
Kelly Littleton-Brewster, David Meers, Matthew Tinker and Bill Satterfield retain their respective seats after running unopposed.
“You look at the progress we’ve made the last four years, we’ve got our unemployment down to as low as I think it can get,” Bradshaw said. “You look at the new services we’ve been able to bring in, things like that are just incredible and people see that, people recognize it and people want to see us continue to prosper.”
Incumbent Road Superintendent Eddie Simpson defeated Sean Giles 5,264 to 2,955.
“It means the people have spoken and they’re satisfied with what’s going on,” Simpson said. “We’ve been able to obtain a lot of money through the state and federal government to do a lot of paving and stuff that’s been put off for years and years and years. ... It means a lot to me and it says my men, my employees, are doing a super job. They’ve all stepped up and doing exactly what they should be doing. They’ve been doing that now for eight years, and I think that says a lot for the administration because of that. I truly feel we’ve brought the highway department to a different level than what it had ever been.”
County Trustee Chip Miller, Circuit Court Clerk Lisa Niles and Register of Deeds Tracie Littleton each ran unopposed to retain their offices.
New faces on county commission will be 4th District commissioner-elect Gary Whitfield, who defeated David Gray 474 to 322, and 6th District commissioner-elect Adam Waller, who received 343 votes to defeat Mark Matlock with 277 and Robert Epley with 202.
Carrie McKelvey will serve as county clerk in the next term after receiving 3,816 votes. Lisa Bridges finished second in the race with 2,395 votes, and Marty Fugate received 1,822.
“I was I guess overwhelmed with emotion between excitement and gratitude,” McKelvey said. “I hope to continue serving Loudon County with excellent customer service like we’ve provided in the past and to continue looking for ways to make our services convenient for the citizens.”
“... I think the voting results reflect on the office, showing that if you treat people the way they need to be treated or want to be treated and always strive to make improvements, that people will appreciate it,” she added.
Incumbent Van Shaver, a Republican, defeated Sharon Yarbrough 1,092 to 784 for District 5, Seat B, and will face Democrat Jan Theodore Hahn in the general election in August. Republican Julia Hurley and Democrat Earlena Maples each ran unopposed in their respective primaries for District 2, Seat A, and will face off in August.