Thursday is the last day in Sullivan County for early voting, and the candidates are hurrying to make their final pleas to voters.
Election day is May 21.
EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS
Sullivan County Election Commission Office
3258 Hwy. 126, Suite 103
1550 Fort Henry Dr.
National Guard Armory
611 Bluff City Hwy
Additional information is available at www.scelect.org
A FEDERAL OR STATE OF TN GOVERNMENT ISSUED PHOTO ID IS REQUIRED TO VOTE, UNLESS AN EXCEPTION APPLIES. COLLEGE STUDENT IDS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LAW AND ITS EXCEPTIONS, PLEASE CALL THE SULLIVAN COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSION OR VISIT GOVOTETN.COM.
We're keeping a close eye on the Bristol, Tennessee city council race and have a breakdown of the candidates in each of the districts.
South District candidates
Three candidates are running to represent the South District in the city of Bristol, Tennessee.
The incumbent in the race is Margaret Feierabend; she's been on city council several times. She was reelected in 2005 and 2009.
She tells us if she wins this year, she'll continue work on projects the council has started. "For jobs and economy [we've] done a lot of work with economic development. [We've] done a lot with children, youth and education, which is a big part of the economic development. Also, quality of life issues in this day and age, jobs and companies, entrepreneurs can go anywhere in the world,." she said.
Candidate Vince Turner is a Bristol native, and is a partner in a medical device company. He tells us he's running because there are changes Bristol needs to make. "We've got to look at our ordinances now. Just because they were put in place ten years ago doesn't mean that they're right for today's times. I think we've got to look at all of our boards make sure that we've got the right people in place," he explained.
Candidate Jack young and his family of five have called Bristol home for a handful of years. During that time he says he's carefully studied Bristol's city council and attended several work sessions.
Young tells us he would like to see change when it comes to interactions between the city and developing businesses. "Those relationships provide access and one way we can do that is to typically talk with developers and other folks that have prospects that they'd like to consider Bristol for," he said. "We need to make sure at the right point our council folks are sitting at the table with them."
East District candidates
There are four candidates running for city council in the East District.
Incumbent Joel Staton has spent eight years on city council, two terms as mayor. If reelected, Staton says he wants to fulfill his promises. "I would focus on our buildings for our education department because the education system here is our best economic tool we have. I would focus on bringing jobs into Bristol," he said.
Candidate Morgan Packard Lorio is a Louisiana native who now calls Bristol home. He's a doctor specializing in spine and hand surgery, and tells us he simply wants to see change. "Trying to provide a more transparent council that would be more accountable and move oversight within various boards," he explained.
Candidate Don Evans owns an engineering business and is a native of Sullivan County. This is his first time running for city council. "Obviously we need a new city managen, Mr. Broughton is going to leave. I think one important issue is making a management team that will carry forward pragmatically," he said.
Candidate Chad Keen is a native of Bristol and small business owner who says he wants to make small changes in Bristol for a big impact. "I want to see our city start buying more products and services in town rather than buying out of town, which is a lot of what we're doing now," he said.
West District candidates
Just two candidates are vying to represent the West District on the Bristol, Tennessee city council.
Incumbent David Shumaker has been a council member for years and has served as mayor three times. If re-elected, Shumaker says he simply wants to finish projects the council has started. "We've spent years putting together a strategic plan for the city and it's starting to pay off. We've recruited 2,000 new jobs in the last couple years with Sprint and U.S. Solutions," he explained.
Candidate Lea Powers has called Bristol home for more than 30 years. She's a former schoolteacher and now a small business owner.
She tells us it's time for change. "[I'd like to] see where we are as far as finances and to see what we can do to reduce the tax rate for local businesses," she said. "Right now we have one of the highest tax rates and that's discouraging to new jobs in our area. I would then want to pursue an active and aggressive marketing plan."