Six in running for three seats on Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen

Sue Guinn Legg • Nov 3, 2018 at 10:24 PM

ERWIN — Tuesday’s voting will decide a six-way race for three seats on the town of Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

The candidates for aldermen posts currently held by Gary Chandler, Mark Lafever and Virgil Moore include the three incumbents, former alderman Michael Baker, Timothy Shelton and Stephen Wilson.

• Baker has been a real estate agent at The Brokers Realty & Auction for more than three years. He and his wife, Tara, recently opened Union Street Taproom in downtown Erwin, which he hopes will bring more people downtown and also create a place for the community to socialize. He and Tara have one son.

• Chandler is a Unicoi County native and has been an alderman for several years. Following his graduation from Unicoi County High School, he was employed by the U.S. Post Office and a major grocery chain in Washington, D.C.

Upon returning to Erwin, he was employed by Nuclear Fuel Services for nine years, then went to work for Clinchfield Railroad, where he retired as a roadmaster for CSX Transportation (formerly Clinchfield) after 30 years of service.

During his years with the railroad, he lived in Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky and returned to Erwin following retirement. He has been married to his wife, Betty, for 52 years and has two children, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

• Lafever is operations manager at Unicoi County Gas Utility District. He worked at Liberty Lumber/Ace Hardware for more than a decade and was the store’s manager for several years. He was employed as public works director for the town of Erwin for three years, during which he was directly involved in Erwin’s downtown revitalization. He has been an Erwin alderman since age 23. He also serves on the Board of Directors for CHIPS in Erwin and is a founding member of RISE Erwin.

• Moore is a Kingsport native and a graduate of Church Hill High School. Following high school, he served a four-year apprenticeship at Tennessee Eastman before going to work as maintenance mechanic for Chemtron Corp. in Newport.

He moved to Erwin in 1961 for employment at Hoover Precision Products and was promoted to management in his second year with the company. Prior to his retirement from Hoover in 1999, he held a number of supervisory positions including maintenance supervisor, manufacturing manager and temporary plant manager.

He is a member of First Baptist Church of Erwin, where he serves as deacon and Sunday school director. He is a lifelong member of the Masonic Lodge and has served in leadership roles for community organizations including the Erwin Jaycees, the Blue Devil Sports Club, the YMCA board of directors, the United Way campaign and American Red Cross blood collections for Unicoi County.

He has served on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for the past six years. He was married to the late Barbara Harrison Moore for 61 years and has three sons, nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

• Shelton has lived most of his life in Unicoi and moved to Erwin about 17 years ago. He became a volunteer with Limestone Cove Fire Department in 1988 and went to work for the Erwin Emergency Rescue Squad in 1992. He has since worked for every ambulance service contracted by Unicoi County.

He became a reserve deputy for the Unicoi County Sheriff’s Department in 2001, and in 2007 began working part time in the county jail. He worked full time as a county animal control officer from 2008-13, when he returned to work as a corrections officer for the county.

• Wilson is an Erwin business owner. He became a corrections officer at the Unicoi County Jail immediately after high school and also worked in security at the Unicoi County Memorial Hospital for several years. 

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