SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - Winners, losers, a write-in candidate winning, and even a possible recount -- that's all on the minds of voters Wednesday following the May 6 primary elections.
In Sullivan County there are some new faces, some familiar names and a disappointing loss.
Sullivan County mayor Steve Godsey spent the day gathering up his campaign signs from around the county. Richard Venable defeated Godsey in Tuesday's Republican primary by a three-to-one margin.
With no Democratic opposition in August, Venable retakes the seat he once held.
Godsey spent his last year in office surrounded by controversy. He was unseated as leading the county commission, plus other issues. He told us he's accepting the election results. "I feel like that the people have spoken. This is my county. I'll always claim it as my county. I was born and raised here, and my fellow county folks, my Sullivan County residents, have spoken and it's time for me to move on," the mayor said.
After 18 years of service he says his days in politics are over.
The three-way race for Sullivan County Highway Commissioner in the Republican primary produced a new face: Jim Belgeri.
The department has been ripe with its own controversies; interim commissioner Bobby Manning's first order of business was firing a group of long-time employees, who responded by threatening a lawsuit. "I have met with all of these men. They've become friends, they have helped me with the campaign. But most of all I want to avoid the county being sued for a discharge of those individuals," Belgeri said.
Belgeri takes his win seriously and knows what lies ahead should he be elected in August. "These people have some expectations of me now, and I certainly intend to live up to those expectations," he said.
A new face is in the running for Register of Deeds with a familiar name, Sheena Ramsey Tinsley. Her father is Ron Ramsey, Tennessee's Lieutenant Governor. "I think you feel a calling for it, honestly. Dad has always said that, but you do feel like you want to better the community? This is a way that I can do that," she says.
It's a chance for voters to catch their breath, only to do it all again come August.
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