Voters in Lenoir City made changes on city council and the board of education.
Last week’s winners for Lenoir City Council were incumbents Douglas “Buddy” Hines and Jim Shields, and newcomer James Brandon with 1,085, 987 and 957 votes, respectively.
Mike Henline, the other incumbent, fell short with 920 votes. Todd Kennedy finished with 946 votes, and Steve Shoemaker had 793.
“I’m pleased with the voter turnout and the people who turned out for the election,” Shields said. “There were a lot of interesting races, the governor’s race and senator’s race, that draws lots of people. Good turnout and I’m pleased with the vote that I got. I’m humbled by the citizens in Lenoir City that re-elected me and I promise to do a good job. I promise to do a good job for them and just continue moving forward.”
Shields was elected for his third term.
Brandon will hold elected office for the first time.
“I’m just glad the people have confidence in me to vote for me,” Brandon said. “I hope I can live up to (their wishes) and do what’s right, and sure appreciate their vote.”
He credited consistency to helping him get support.
“Showing up every day to early voting and staying all day long,” Brandon said. “Stayed at the Memorial Building all day long, rain or shine. A lot of them just didn’t show up.”
Brandon said he’s excited to get started.
“I’ll try to do what’s right for everybody, try my best,” he said.
Hines has been on city council for 16 years.
“It’s been great to be back on the city council again and I look forward to it,” Hines said. “I hope we can continue to all work together. ... It’s just been great. I appreciate everybody that voted for me and I just appreciate (the support).”
He thanked family for helping him campaign.
“I appreciate everyone voting for me like they did and it was just great, really, and I really didn’t expect anything like that. I’m happy that it all happened,” Hines said. “... We’ve got a good bunch of people and we’ve got a good mayor and everything’s worked great. We’ve done a lot of good things for the city.”
Jennifer Wampler retained her seat on city council as well, running unopposed for a two-year, unexpired term.
School board change
Lenoir City Board of Education will see a new face in Matthew Coleman, who received the second-most votes of four candidates with 980.
“I’m certainly excited with the results,” Coleman said. “I’m excited about the turnout from all the voters. It was being the first time I’ve ever ran for anything, it was interesting, it was a learning process. I’m excited to be able to jump in and help the school board any way I can and the kids in the system.”
Coleman described his first experience running for an elected position as “definitely a learning experience.”
“It was definitely a learning experience, but just getting out and talking to people, that was it,” Coleman said. “I’m just excited to be able to be a part of it now and help the school system any way I can.”
Bobby Johnson Sr. has served on the school board for more than three decades. He initially wasn’t going to run again, but that changed after people asked him to continue. Johnson’s strong numbers of 1,132 votes reaffirmed that, the highest of the four running.
Johnson said he was surprised by the turnout.
“I’ve been in there now for 32 years and people, they know me, and for the kids and everything,” Johnson said. “Evidently they want me back in there, and I appreciate all the people voting for me.”
Jim McCarroll was the other incumbent seeking election and tallied 772 votes. Rosemary Hines Quillen finished with 887 votes.