MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A Republican candidate in the race for Scotty Campbell’s former Tennessee House seat has withdrawn from the race.
Neal Kerney withdrew his petition on Friday, one day after the Johnson County Commission appointed Republican former state Rep. Timothy Hill as interim representative of House District 3 following Campbell’s resignation last month.
“Sandra, my lovely bride and I walk away from this race with our heads held high while always trying to honor Christ!” Kerney said in a statement to News Channel 11. “We wish our three fellow Republicans well in the special election primary, in addition, to the one Democrat running, we also want to wish her well.”
Kerney was set to appear on the ballot in the Republican primary in June, along with Hill, former Sullivan County commissioner Angie Stanley, and real estate agent Stacy Vaughan.
As the only Johnson County resident in the race, Kerney encouraged county commissioners to keep representation local when they picked an interim replacement for Campbell, who was also a Johnson Countian.
All of the other candidates in the race, including Democrat Lori Love, are from Sullivan County.
“Sullivan County is adequately represented. Johnson County is always the one that feels like they’re getting the leftovers,” Kerney told News Channel 11 on Thursday. “And if they appoint a state representative that their permanent residency is in Sullivan County, once again Johnson County is going to feel like ‘well we lost it, we gave it away.'”
House District 3 spans all of Johnson County and includes parts of Carter, Hawkins, and Sullivan counties.
The special primary election will be held on June 22 with early voting running June 2–17.
The special general election will take place on Aug. 3.