Deadline passes for municipal elections

6 seek 3 seats in Forge, 4 seek 2 seats in Sevierville
Feb. 22, 2013 @ 11:48 PM

With the deadline past for candidates to turn in petitions to run in Sevier County’s three municipal elections, it appears there will be contested races for Pigeon Forge Commission and for alderman in Sevierville while the mayor in Sevierville and two Gatlinburg city commissioners are unopposed.

In Pigeon Forge, three seats on city commission are up for grabs and incumbents Joyce Brackins, Kevin McClure and Randal Robinson are looking to retain their seats. Robinson has often been a contrary vote on the commission along with Howard Reagan, while Brackins and McClure have typically sided with Mayor David Wear.

Robinson has also been allied with Concerned Churches and Citizens of Pigeon Forge. That group’s chairman, businessman hotel and restaurant owner Jess Davis, moved into one of his own condominiums inside the city so he could run for commission.

Wearwood school teacher Kris Ogle and Pigeon Forge Planning Commissioner Jay Ogle, who are unrelated, are running for commission along with Don Denney, a past president of the Pigeon Forge Lions Club. The election in Pigeon Forge is set for May 14.

The deadline for returning petitions to run for all three city elections was noon Thursday.

There was only one candidate who did not return a petition after picking one up in any of the elections. Jim Bishop, a former Funtime Trolley employee in Pigeon Forge, had picked up a petition but had indicated he had not made up his mind to run. Bishop, who has attended some recent meetings of the Sevierville Election Commission, is listed as the election observer for Concerned Churches and Citizens of Pigeon Forge in the revote on the city’s liquor by the drink referendum.

In Sevierville, Atchley appears set to cruise into a 10th, two-year term as the city’s mayor.

The two alderman seats will be filled by new candidates. Dale Carr will not be seeking re-election because he won a new office — he is now representing the 12th district in the state House of Representatives. Claude Ownby died last year while still in office. The board appointed his wife, Maxine Ownby, to complete his term and she is among the four candidates seeking the open seats.

Former Sevierville Police Chief Robbie Fox, who is now director of safety for Dollywood, is running along with Jim McGill, who is the member coordinator for the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce, and Vincent Snider, a pharmaceutical salesman and son of Dennis Snyder, the marketing director for Smokies Stadium.

That election takes place May 2.

In Gatlinburg, there does not appear to be any contest for the two commission seats that are up for re-election. Incumbents Don Smith and Mark McCown are unopposed.

That election is set for May 21.

Now that the deadline has passed, election officials will review the petitions to make sure that they have the minimum number of verified signatures. The candidates also have seven days to remove their names from the ballot without issue.

jfarrell@themountainpress.com