JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Following the resignation of state Rep. Scotty Campbell last week, election officials in four local counties are preparing for a special election this summer.
Campbell represented House District 3, an oddly-shaped district that includes all of Johnson County and parts of Carter, Hawkins, and Sullivan counties.
Election commissions in each of those counties are now preparing for a special primary election on June 22 and a special general election on Aug. 3.
While the state is expected to reimburse counties for the cost of the election, local election officials will have to foot the bill until then…and that bill could reach six figures.
Johnson County officials are preparing to shell out $100,000 for the special election — $50,000 each for the primary and general elections, according to Election Administrator Cheri Lipford.
In Sullivan County, the cost of both elections is expected to exceed $60,000, Administrator of Elections Jason Booher said.
Election officials in Carter and Hawkins counties said they were not sure how much the election will cost yet. Carter County Election Administrator Tracy Tanner-Harris said that will depend on the number of candidates, how many workers are needed, and if there will be an early voting period, which is only required if there is more than one candidate.
As of Friday morning, four people had picked up petitions to run for the House District 3 seat: Angie Stanley and Stacy Vaughan in Sullivan County and Neal Kerney and Dennis Root in Johnson County. They will have until noon on May 11 to file their petitions.
That same day, the Johnson County Commission will appoint an interim successor who will serve until the election is held.
In order to be a state representative, a person must be at least 21 years old, a U.S. citizen, and have been a citizen of Tennessee for at least three years, a resident of the county for at least one year, and a registered voter of the district.