Three more candidates file to seek elected office

by Sean Dunlap

The second full week of candidate qualifying saw three more Franklin County residents toss their hats into the ring for elected office during 2023, according to Circuit Clerk Warren Walker.

As of Tuesday, Jan. 17, those who have filed paperwork to run now include Eric Gant, who will challenge incumbent District 3 Supervisor Mike M. “Dirt” Hunt.

Hunt officially filed to seek re-election the week prior.

Additionally, Doug Berryhill and Eddie Foster qualified last week to run in the District 5 supervisor’s race against incumbent Jimmie “Bodi” Bass, who has also filed his papers to run again.

Other contested local races include:

• Sheriff — two candidates have signed up to seek that office, including incumbent Tom Tindle and challenger Joseph Cothren.

• Tax Assessor-Collector — two candidates have registered to run, including incumbent Talina King Matthews and challenger Julie Buckels.

Several offices have yet to see anyone other than incumbents qualify and those include:

• Chancery Clerk Jill Jordan Gilbert.

• Walker, who presently serves as circuit clerk.

• Justice Court Judges Rickey Van O’Quinn and Larry Wallace, representing Place 1 and Place 2, respectively.

• Coroner Billy P. Gill.

• Three incumbent supervisors, Ronald Hunt of District 1, Henry “Eddie” Stebbins of District 2 and Pat Larkin of District 4.

• Both incumbent constables — Charles E. Brown of Place 1 and Dewayne Whetstone of Place 2.

Two other races will appear on ballots in Franklin County — for the District 2 and District 4 election commission seats.

For the second week in a row, no candidate had officially turned in paperwork to seek either post.

Walker said the qualification deadline for those seeking local elected office is 5 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Packets for those with party affiliations or independents are available for pick-up in Walker’s office on the first floor of the Franklin County Courthouse during regular office hours.

Those qualifying as either a Republican or Democrat must pay a $100 fee and submit a signed statement of intent.

Those running as an independent will also have to pay a $100 qualification fee with a required petition of signatures from electors in the district or county-wide — depending on the office being sought.

In a district race, an independent must gain no less than 25 voter signatures while those seeking at-large seats in the county will need to garner no less than 50 names on the petition, according to Walker.

Party primaries will be held Tuesday, Aug. 8 (with any runoff races set for Tuesday, Aug. 29).The general election is planned for Tuesday, Nov. 7.

The deadline for new voters to register to cast a ballot in the party primaries will be 5 p.m., Monday, July 10 and for primary runoffs will be 5 p.m., Monday, July 31.

The general election voter registration deadline is 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 9 with all mail-in sign-ups required to be postmarked by Tuesday, Oct. 10.

Candidate filing requirement questions and queries about voter registration can be directed to Walker by calling his office at 601-384-2320.