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Crockett County Election Spawns Low Voter Turnout

By Cyndi Lundeberg
By Clundeberg@wbbjtv.com

CROCKETT COUNTY, Tenn. - For some Crockett County residents, voting is not just a privilege. It is a civic duty that they take very seriously.

"I think everybody has a duty because we all need to express our views," Virginia Smith said after voting.

Smith, now 77, said she has been voting since she was 18-years-old. She said the few minutes it takes to vote can impact Crockett County for generations to come.

"We just really need to prepare for our future. Our children are leaving and we need to create jobs that will bring them back," said Smith.

Not everyone shares Smith's views. With five polling stations set up around the county, administrator of elections John Copeland said he expected around 20% of residents to vote for the mayoral, alderman, and school board positions.

"I don't know why more people don't come out and vote," said poll worker Iris Deegan.

"I think we need to get more out here to vote," said Smith. "I'm disappointed that people don't come out and vote like they should."

Crockett County residents said besides those with a passion for politics, many in the area seem disengaged. So voters like Virginia Smith and Iris Deegan take the responsibility of voting for Crockett County's future on themselves.

"I trust the people that I voted for," said Deegan. "That they would do what they told me they would do."

"If you don't vote, you don't complain," said Smith.

According to the election summary reporter, around 28% of residents in Crockett County voted.

In Gadsen, newly elected alderman include Tracy Reasons Rinks, Lynn Reasons, Tommy Patterson, and F. Scott Cole. Linda Milam defeated Steve Selph for Mayor of Gadsen.

In Maury City, Rayce Castellaw ran uncontested and is the new mayor.
Billy Gibson, Fannie Malone, George E. Simmons, Danny Vaughn Sr., and Bobbie Williamson were named alderman.

In the city of Bells, Eric Jordan, Dabney Long, Bob Pigue, John Pigue, and Scotty Runions were named alderman. Gary Emison, Charlotte Gaines, Lacey Pigue, Misty Rhode, and Bill Vandenbosch were elected to the school board. Joe E. Williams was named Bells' mayor.

Casey Burnett was elected as mayor in Friendship City. Johnny Elmore, Bob Garrett, John Marvin, and James N. Robertson were elected alderman.

Alamo elected Tommy Green as mayor. For alderman Larry Conder, P.B. Conley, and Flynoid Gregory were elected. For the Alamo school board, Patrick Conley, Lawrence Harden, Shannon Haynes, Charlie Roland Moore and Douglas Ward were selected.
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