TN Local-Level Political News Notes

No Caucus for Rutherford Democrats
At its quarterly meeting Saturday, the Rutherford County Democratic party and executive committee members voted unanimously to use a primary rather than caucuses to determine whose names will go on the county election ballot next fall for county road superintendent and assessor of property, according to a the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal.
“It does not surprise me that our Democrats prefer a primary. Our candidates will be selected in the light of day at the polls, not behind closed doors,” said Justin St. Clair, party chairman.
The decision comes after the Rutherford County Republican Party opted to choose candidates for the 2012 election by caucusing. Its executive committee voted 11-4 this summer to go with the caucuses, reflecting a trend that started last year.

Rogero Backed by Non-partisan PAC
A local nonpartisan political action committee, formed after the Knox County government scandals in 2007, has endorsed Madeline Rogero for Knoxville mayor and four candidates for City Council in the Sept. 27 nonpartisan city primary, reports Georgiana Vines.
The Public Trust PAC, co-chaired by former state Sen. Ben Atchley, a Republican, and ex-County Executive Tommy Schumpert, a Democrat, also endorsed John Stancil and George C. Wallace for Council at large, seat A; Marshall Stair, Council at large, seat B; and Finbarr Saunders, Council at large, seat C.
….Financial adviser David Moon, the group’s treasurer, said in response to questions that the only mayoral candidates interviewed were Rogero and Mark Padgett. All were invited to answer a questionnaire and be interviewed, he said. The group did not hear back from Ivan Harmon about an interview, got no response from Bo Bennett, and Joe Hultquist scheduled an interview and then canceled due to a conflict, Moon said

.Knoxville EV Turnout Light
As of Saturday, 2,421 people had cast ballots in early voting for Knoxville City elections
Clifford Rodge, according to the News Sentinel.
Clifford Rodgers, Knox County administrator of elections, said that although 191,000 people are eligible to vote, turnout is not expected to exceed 30,000 voters.
“What I have been told is that usually the first day of early voting is a good day, and then (turnout) drops off and then you have a strong finish on the last three days,” Rodgers said.
Early voting continues through Sept. 22
. (Election day is Sept. 27.)
Sullivan Debates Proper Political Boundaries
Under general state law, political candidates and their supporters are prohibited from coming within 100 feet of polling places during any voting period — early or on election day. A proposal up for a vote by the Sullivan County Commission seeks to ask the state to allow Sullivan County to quadruple that boundary to 400 feet during early voting, reports the Kingsport Times-News
Proponents say the move would keep voters from being forced to run what can often seem like a gantlet to cast their ballot. Supporters also say the proposal would improve parking for voters because those using spots for campaigning would be pushed back.
The parking issue would also make it less of an imposition on people using voting locations for other, everyday purposes during the voting period, according to the proposal.

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