Candidates say Johnson City Commission race has become too partisan

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Two candidates running for Johnson City Commission say the race has become too partisan.

Vice Mayor Joe Wise and political newcomer Aaron Murphy spoke to News Channel 11 on Friday.

By law, candidates for city commission must appear as independents on the ballot. However, that hasn’t stopped candidates from being endorsed by Republicans or Democrats.

Two forums were held Thursday night by the Washington County Young Republicans and Washington County Democratic Party. Neither Wise nor Murphy were invited to either event.

“If you pay attention to your packet and you know the law, you will understand this is a nonpartisan race,” Murphy said. “We need to follow directions, we need to follow the rules. We are interviewing for a position here in the city to serve and represent.”

“I have been surprised by the degree of partisanship that has reared its head in what is a local nonpartisan race,” Wise said. “I have a political party affiliation and I have political views, but I do not believe they help do this job effectively.”

Both Republicans and Democrats say they plan on having more events to support their candidates leading up to Election Day.

Three commission seats are up for grabs in the November 3 election.

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