Henry Co. Election Commission Disqualifies Candidate, Approves November 3 Ballot

By Shannon McFarlin News Director

Paris, Tenn.–The Henry County Election Commission officially approved the November 3 ballot and in the process, disqualified one of the County Mayor candidates for not meeting the state’s age requirement.

In a unanimous vote and upon the recommendation of County Elections Administrator DeLaina Green, the commission disqualified Shaun Poole of Paris, who is 22. Green read a section from Tennessee law which states that candidates for County Mayor must be 25.

Green told the commission, “According to state law, he’s not qualified…you’re not the lawmakers, you’re not the ones who make the laws.”

In a presentation to the board at the meeting’s outset, Poole, who is a veteran, objected to the requirement, noting that Tennessee “has the highest age limit for County Mayor in the country” at 25 years. In Texas, he said, the age limit is only 18.

“I’m very serious about this,” Poole said, arguing that younger people are ‘more in touch’.

Poole said, “Disqualifying me as a candidate is ridiculous and an insult” to the people who signed his qualifying petition. “What you’re saying is that their voices don’t matter and that’s wrong of you.”

As approved by the commission, candidates on the November 3 ballot are:

County Sheriff: Josh Mann Frey, R; Damon C. Lowe, I.

County Mayor: carlton Gerrell, R; John Penn Ridgeway, I.; Tim Wirgau, I.

City of Cottage Grove, Alderman (Vote for 4): David Alan Jackson, John Weiher III.

City of Cottage Grove, Mayor: Gary A. McCaig.

City of Henry, Alderman (Vote for 2): Charles W. Barnes, Faye Lowery, Keith Qualls, Cindy Rainey.

City of Henry, Alderman (Unexpired Term): Charlotte Barnes.

City of Henry, Mayor: Dane W. Allen, Dustin Odom.

City of Paris, Commissioner (Vote for 2): John Etheridge, Jackie Jones, Herbert Earl Kendall, James Matthew Wyatt.

City of Puryear, Alderman (Vote for 2): Rebecca Haynes, Bill Robinson.

City of Puryear, Mayor: David Varner.

City of Puryear, Recorder: Verla Smith.

In other business:

–The commission set the hours for the Early Voting period. Early voting is from October 14-October 29, and the hours set are October 14, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; October 29, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and October 15-28, including both Saturdays, will be from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Green made the recommendation for the changed hours based on a review of the times when most votes have been cast during Early Voting in Henry County in the past. She said the first and last days of the Early Voting period are always the busiest.

–The commission locked the in-office absentee and provisional ballot boxes and locked the Election Day provisional ballot bags.

–The commission approved machine techs Mark Duncan (Democrat) and Don Fodge (Republican) and approved names of nursing home deputies and early voting deputies: Carrie Green, Ashley Armstrong, Sandra Smith, Joyce Spinn, Debra McGuire, Valorie Adams, Alayna Fuson and Annette Copeland.

–Green said so far there have been 550 absentee ballot requests for the November 3 election and she expects a lot more.

Top photo: Shaun Poole makes presentation to the commission.

Bottom photo: With Election Administrator DeLaina Green observing, Election Commission members lock ballot boxes and ballot bags. (Shannon McFarlin photos).