When voters hit the polls May 1 for the county primary and Aug. 2 for the county general election, there will be a lot of contested races and some familiar challengers on the ballot.


Early voting for the primary began last week and continues until next Thursday. Polls will be open at the Tipton County Election Commission in Covington and Munford City Hall Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m.


In the county's second-ever county primary, when candidates declare party affiliation, two of the nine county commissioner races will have two Republicans on the ballot.


Incumbent Jeff Mason and challenger Richard Kelley are on the ballot in District 3. Since two seats will ultimately be elected, both men will move on to the general election to face independent incumbent Steve Bringle.


John Harber and Walker A. Adams, both challengers and Republicans, will be in the primary in District 4. Both will also be in the general election and run against independent incumbents John Delancey and Mike Sterling, as well as challenger Stephen Shopher, another independent.


Other county commission candidates running as Republicans in the primary include Steven Browder, District 5; Bobbie M. Smith, District 6; David J. Turner, District 7; Christopher Armstrong, District 8; and Jonathan Murphy, District 9, who is the only incumbent in that group.


Democrat Olean Anderson is a qualified write-in candidate for the District 1 commissioner race in the county primary.


Among the new names on the county general ballot is Mike Naifeh, who is running in District 2 against incumbents Tommy Dunavant and Arnold McIntyre.


Other challengers who have already qualified for the general election include William Holland, District 2; Stephen Shopher, District 4; Larry Vanderbilt and Dennis Harrod, District 7, Cecil G. Watson, District 8; and David Copeland, District 9.


Incumbent commissioners, all of whom are running as independents, who have qualified for the general election include Rusty Wooten and Shelia Barlow, District 1; Glenn Turner and Bob Wilson, District 5; Jimbo Adkins and Johnnie Jones, District 6; Courtney Fee and Poochie Twisdale, District 7; Carl Knight and James Sneed, District 8; and Dale Smith, District 9.


County Executive Jeff Huffman, Circuit Court Clerk Mike Forbess, Trustee Kristie Maxwell, Sheriff Pancho Chumley, County Clerk Mary Gaither and Register of Deeds Claudia Peeler are all running unopposed.


Four school board spots will also be on the general election ballot. Those running include Steve Clark and Allison K. Gibson, District 2; Blake Sawyer and Darry Marshall, District 4; and Teresa Cantrell and Richard Joyner, District 6. Joyner, Clark and Shipley Jr. are the incumbents.


No one has qualified to run for District 8, though people can cast write-in votes. Marty Haywood is the current District 8 school board member.


Constables running include Michael J. Osbourn, District 4; Brian K. Max, District 1; Mark Richard Blesi, Kevin Hutcherson and Kyle Smith, District 9; William G. McLillie Jr., District 3; and Christopher G. Fisher and Skyler Avery, District 2. Charles Wolfe is qualified write-in candidate in District 2.


Donald Mills is running for Republican State Executive Committeeman and Charlotte Kelley for Republican State Executive Committeewoman. Robert E. Sproles is running for Democratic State Executive Committeeman and Deborah K. Reed for Democratic State Executive Committeewoman.

Jeff Ireland is The Leader's sports editor. To contact him, call 901-476-7116 or email​