Early voting for the Nov. 6 election began today.
“We’ve had a large influx of voter registrations, so I’m expecting a large turnout,” said Tipton County Administrator of Elections Cindy Pinner. “(Tuesday) was the last day for voter registration; we had over 200 people register online and had people in and out all day.”
Pinner encourages voters to hit the polls early to avoid long lines at the polls on election day.
The final weeks of the election mean campaigning has been kicked into high gear.
Gubernatorial and senate candidates have been canvassing the state for the past several months to win votes in key races.
Locally, there are two contested mayoral races – in Atoka and Covington – and four alderman races to watch.
Here’s a breakdown of who’s running:
Almost every town and city in Tipton County – everyone except Brighton – will be holding elections for mayor and aldermen. (All of Brighton’s elected officials will be on the ballot in 2020.)
In each city – except Burlison, where one councilperson will be elected, and Garland, where voters will choose six alderman and a recorder – voters will be choosing three aldermen.
Incumbents Barry Akin and Danny Feldmayer are up against 10 challengers for alderman.
Others who’ve thrown their proverbial hats in the ring include Ryan Ripperton, Christy Renfrow, Daniel Lee, Gregory Billings, Christopher “Cody” Pace, Bruce McConnell, Keith Richter, John Harber, Pamela Johnson and Scott Cooper.
The third seat up for re-election is that of former alderman Mike Joyner. He moved out of the city limits this past spring and Marianne Dunavant, who expressed from the beginning she was not looking for a permanent position on the board, has been filling in since his resignation.
Mayor Daryl Walker is up for re-election but is running unopposed.
Incumbent Danny Howard is running for re-election as alderman. He has no opposition.
Covington’s candidate There are contested mayoral and alderman races in Covington as well.
John E. Edwards, who took over his father’s position as alderman in 2005 when John M. Edwards died, announced in May his plans to run for mayor against incumbent Justin Hanson, who’s been in office since 2014.
In Covington, unlike everywhere else, representation is done through districting and each district has two aldermen. Half of the board is up for re-election every two years.
J.B. Leverette, Olean Anderson, Shelvie Rose, Brian “Moody” Max and Johnetta Yarbrough are running to fill the District 1 seat, which Edwards has held for 13 years.
Mac McGowan is running for re-election in District 2 and will be challenged by Jeff Morris, Catina Stark and Wanda Lynn Bellow.
Billy Yancy and Danny Wallace are running to represent District 3. Alderman Drew Glass, who was appointed to fill Bill Scruggs’ unexpired term in early 2015, is not running.
In Garland, Lisa McClain is running to keep the recorder position and Kelley Gray and Clayton Wilson are running to stay on as aldermen. Audrey Peach and David Fike are also running for aldermen.
Incumbent Brian Shoemaker and Donna Fletcher are running for aldermen. There are three positions up and only two qualified candidates, so a write-in will fill the third position up for grabs.
In the mayoral race, Celia Jones Chastain and current alderman Dewayne Gooden will be challenging Gwendolyn Kilpatrick, who has been the town’s mayor since 2015.
Mason aldermen Joe Nelson and Gloria Whitley are running for re-election and Sylvester Harvey, Sandra Norvell, Sha’Te Toliver, Eddie Noeman and Carolyn Catron have also qualified to run.
Glenn Turner and Robert Dodson are running with incumbents Sue Arthur and Jack Bomar for Munford aldermen. Bob Wilson, who was appointed to serve the remainder of the late Johnny Crigger’s unexpired term, is not seeking re-election.
Also up this election are U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative from District 8, Tennessee Governor, and the Tennessee House of Representatives District 81 seat.
One of the most contentious races this election is that of U.S. Senator where former governor Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, is running against Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn and six Independent candidates for Bob Corker’s seat.
U.S. Representative David Kustoff is running for re-election in District 8 and has opposition in Democrat Erika Stotts Pearson and Independent James Hart.
Debra Moody is running unopposed for her third term as state representative.
When can you vote?
Early voting began will continue every day, except Sundays, until Nov. 1.
Those who wish to vote early can do so at the Election Commission – 113 E. Church Street, Covington – or at Munford’s City Hall Boardroom – 70 College Street, Munford – from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays.
Voters can visit either location during the early voting period, no matter their polling location on election day.