Evely bests Lynch in mayoral primary, Hensley re-elected sheriff

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated May 1, 2018 at 11:18 PM

ERWIN — Republican primary voters Tuesday brought Unicoi County Mayor Greg Lynch’s three-term tenure in the office to an end, returned Sheriff Mike Hensley to office and ousted three incumbent members of the County Commission.

In the race for mayor, Garland “Bubba” Evely took the primary by 520 votes, besting Lynch by a vote of 1,821 to 1,301, or 58.07 percent to 41.49 percent of the total votes cast.

The primary win advances Evely to the August general election, where he will face independent mayoral candidates Johnny Day and Richard Preston.

In the three-way race for sheriff, Hensley staved off challenges from his former top officer Jimmy Erwin and Johnson City police officer Robert Bryan McCurry with a resounding 61.23 percent of the total votes cast, or 1,955 votes to Erwin’s 805 and McCurry’s 429.

With the primary victory, Hensley will run unopposed in the August general election.

In the Republican primary contest for all nine seats on the County Commission — three from each of the county’s three commission districts — incumbents Gene Wilson, Ken Garland and Bridget Peters all fell short in the voting to new faces in the running for the commission.

In the 1st District, the top three vote getters were incumbent Commissioner Loren Thomas with 545 votes, followed by newcomer Jamie Harris with 516 vote and Commission Chairwoman Marie Rice with 457 votes. The three will run unopposed in the general election in August.

In the 2nd District, incumbent Commissioner Jason Harris led the voting with 580 votes, followed closely by incumbent Commissioner Glenn White with 560 votes and Matthew Rice with 553 votes. The three will face independents Rob Martin and Lisa Brewington White in the August general election.

In the 3rd District, incumbent commissioner Todd Wilcox was the top vote getter with 707 votes, followed by Stephen Hendrix with 520 votes and incumbent Commissioner John Mosley with 413 votes. The three 3rd district primary winners will run unopposed in August.

Unopposed incumbents returned to office in Tuesday’s primary with no opposition in the general election were Unicoi County Trustee Paul Berry, Circuit Court Clerk Darren Shelton, County Clerk Mitzi Bowen, Register of Deeds Debbie Tittle and Road Superintendent Terry Haynes.

Unopposed candidates for constable elected in Tuesday’s primary without opposition in August were Arthur Metcalf, Wayne Edwards and Timmy Lewis.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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