Your way-too-early guide to 2022 elections in Murfreesboro and Rutherford County

·6 min read
Tennessee State Capitol

Voters on Aug. 4 will elect 21 candidates to represent them on the Rutherford County Commission.

The election will follow a May 3 primary that includes Republicans for most of the seats and 11 Democrats.

For years, commissioner Chantho Sourinho has served as the lone elected Democrat in the county. But his local party leadership expects to win more seats by the Aug. 4 election.

"We are excited," said Cathy Watt, chairperson of the Rutherford County Democratic Party.

"This is the most candidates we’ve had in recent memory. There were seven candidates in 2018, and we have 11."

Still, Austin Maxwell, chairperson of the Rutherford County Republican Party, is confident the GOP will remain strong — now that multiple candidates qualified to run for office.

"We have a Republican running in every county commission seat with the exception of Chantho (District 21)," Maxwell said.

"Overall, I feel pleased with the number of bona fide Republicans — as measured by voting record and party activity — to step forward and seek these offices."

The GOP, however, did send notices to more than a dozen candidates about not meeting Republican requirements to appear on the ballot. The rules include voting in three of last four statewide Republican primaries.

School boards impacted by GOP primary: 'I think we need to keep politics out of schools'

Voters will elect over 50 candidates

In addition to the commission races, voters will elect Circuit Court and General Sessions Court judges to eight-year terms. Voters also will elect a candidate to replace embattled Juvenile Court Judge Donna Scott Davenport, who previously announced plans to retire at the end of her eight-year term. Davenport has faced growing pressure in recent months for her role in the illegal arrests and jailing of children for nearly two decades in Rutherford County.

These decisions, and others, await voters this year. The Daily News Journal will continue to update readers as new candidates are revealed.

Other elected offices in Rutherford County and Murfreesboro include elections for mayors, city council and county commission..

Prior to Election Day, many candidates will compete in the May 3 primary to earn Republican or Democratic party nominations for the local offices. This will include, for the first time, a Republican primary for nominees for school board seats representing Rutherford County and Murfreesboro districts.

The Democratic Party decided against holding primaries for school board seats.

The party nominees and independents will appear on the Aug. 4 ballot.

The Aug. 4 election also includes federal and state primaries involving seats for Congress, governor and state lawmakers. Fast-growing Rutherford County will gain a District 13 Tennessee House of Representatives seat for mostly the west side. The county, during the past decade, has been represented by four state representative seats for Districts 34, 37, 48 and 49.

Federal and state elections are scheduled for Nov. 8, the same date voters in Smyrna, La Vergne and Eagleville will choose successful candidates for mayor and council (or alderman).

Who's qualified

The following candidates qualified by the noon Feb. 17 deadline to run for the May 3 primary in Rutherford County or as independents or state primary candidates for the Aug. 4 election, according to the Rutherford County Election Commission staff. Candidates have a week to withdraw.

Circuit Court Judges 16th Judicial District

  • Division I: Mark Rogers, incumbent independent; Mike Jones, independent (local GOP Chairman Austin Maxwell said Jones was not eligible for primary)

  • Division II Judge: Jimmy Turner, incumbent Republican

  • Division III Judge: Barry Tidwell, incumbent Republican

  • Division IV Judge: Jo Atwood, incumbent Republican

  • Division V Judge: Darrell Scarlett, incumbent Republican

  • Chancellor: Howard Wilson, incumbent Republican

General Sessions Court Judges

  • Judge Part I: Ben Hall "Trey" McFarlin III, incumbent Republican

  • Judge Part II: Ben Bennett, incumbent Republican

  • Judge Part III: Toby Gilley, incumbent Republican

  • Judge Part IV: Lisa Eischeid, incumbent Republican

Juvenile Court Judge

  • Andrae Crismon, independent

  • Travis Lampley, Republican

District Attorney General 16th Judicial District

  • Jennings Jones, incumbent Republican

Public Defender16th Judicial District

  • Gerald Melton, incumbent Republican

Rutherford County Sheriff

  • Mike Fitzhugh, incumbent Republican

  • Virgil Gammon, Republican

  • Tom Sissom, Republican

  • Pat Garrett, independent

Circuit Court Clerk

  • Melissa Harrell, incumbent Republican

  • Robin Eades Gentry, Republican

Register of Deeds

  • Heather Dawbarn, incumbent Republican

  • Kevin Wax, Republican

County Clerk

  • Lisa Duke Crowell, incumbent Republican

Trustee

  • Teb Batey, incumbent Republican

County Mayor

  • Bill Ketron, Republican incumbent;

  • Rhonda Allen, Republican (current county commissioner)

  • Joe Carr, Republican

  • Aaron Coffey, Republican (GOP determined Coffey is ineligible for primary)

  • Royce Olen Johnson, independent (GOP determined Johnson is ineligible for primary)

  • Randy Allen, independent

  • Norman Hanks, independent

County Commission

  • District 1: David Gammon, incumbent Republican; Hope Oliver, Democrat

  • District 2: Steve Pearcy, incumbent Republican; Justin Taylor, Republican

  • District 3: Michael Wrather, incumbent Republican; Anita L. Herron, Democrat

  • District 4: Robert Peay Jr., incumbent independent; Michael A. Rodgers, Republican

  • District 5: Carol Cook, incumbent Republican; Laura Davidson, independent (GOP determined Davidson is ineligible for primary)

  • District 6: Veronica Buchanan, incumbent Republican; Jonathan Beverly, Republican; Patrick Miller, Republican; Tim Tidwell, independent; Jonathan James, Republican; (GOP determined James is ineligible for primary)

  • District 7: Mike Kusch, incumbent Republican; Joseph Locher, Democrat; Paul "Roscoe" Williams, independent (GOP determined Williams is ineligible for primary);

  • District 8: Pettus Read, incumbent Republican; Matthew Burke, Democrat

  • District 9: Joe Gourley, incumbent Republican; Joshua James, Republican; Mark A. Linville, Democrat

  • District 10: Philip E. Wilson, Republican; Tony Campbell, Republican; Iris Dismukes, Democrat

  • District 11: Anthony Johnson, Republican; Bradley R. Austin, Republican (GOP determined Austin to be ineligible for primary)

  • District 12: Carl B. Boyd, Republican; Jason M. Kemp, Republican (GOP determined Kemp is ineligible for primary); Celest Davis, Democrat

  • District 13: Paul Johnson, incumbent Republican; Byron Glenn, independent

  • District 14: Wayne Irvin, Republican; Rod Key, Republican (currently represents District 19 but is now in 14 after redistricting)

  • District 15: Craig Harris, incumbent Republican; Cedric Alford, Democrat

  • District 16: Phil Dodd, incumbent Republican; Kyle Mullicane, Democrat

  • District 17: Jeff Phillips, incumbent Republican; Mariah Phillips, Democrat

  • District 18: Allen McAdoo, incumbent Republican

  • District 19: Corey Sippola, Republican; Romel McMurry, independent

  • District 20: Trey Gooch, incumbent Republican

  • District 21: Chantho Sourinho, incumbent Democrat

Rutherford County Board of Education

  • Zone 1: Tammy Sharp, incumbent Republican

  • Zone 3: Tim Holden, incumbent Republican; Caleb Tidwell, Republican; Jason Scales, independent

  • Zone 4: Tiffany Johnson, incumbent Republican; Katie Darby, Republican

  • Zone 7: Frances Rosales, Republican; Cindy Daniel, independent

Murfreesboro City School Board (at large)

  • Amanda Moore, incumbent independent

  • Barbara Long, Republican

  • Florence E. Omachonu, independent

  • Karen L. Dodd, independent

Murfreesboro mayor

  • Tony Lehew, independent (deadline to qualify is noon April 7)

Murfreesboro City Council (at large)

  • Jami Kristin Averwater, independent (deadline to qualify is noon April 7)

State House of Representatives

  • District 37: Charlie Baum, incumbent Republican (deadline to qualify is noon April 7)

Source: Rutherford County Election Commission staff

Reach reporter Scott Broden with news tips or questions through emailing sbroden@dnj.com or calling 615-278-5158.

This article originally appeared on Murfreesboro Daily News Journal: Murfreesboro elections 2022: Rutherford County races, candidates