Election surprises at filing deadline

Things sure can change quickly in small town politics!

Most people I talked to were expecting the mayor and city council races to be completely uneventful and result in no changes to the status quo. But boy how that changed in the last few days! 

Now incumbent mayor David Thompson is facing a challenge from veteran city councilman Sherman Lawson. Many folks may not remember, but it was Lawson who in March of 2014 told Thompson of the council’s decision to impeach him, by saying,  “Mr. Thompson, you have been officially removed from your capacity.”

Thompson ran for mayor again later in 2014. He had 103 signatures on his paperwork to file, and in November won re-election. He has lead Barbourville for the last four years, but now he and Lawson are both on the ballot for the same job.

Another mild surprise involved the city council race. At 3:52 pm, there were six candidates for six positions. So, at that point every candidate was an automatic winner, But, only five minutes later, there were seven names on the list. Darren K. West, formerly a city councilman and the interim mayor in 2014, filed his papers and launched his campaign to reclaim a seat back on the council.

Finally, after months of only having one candidate, James Gray, filed for Knox County School board in district two. But on the very last day before the deadline, four more filed. Also surprisingly three candidates share the same last name – Gray.

I think it’s amazing how fast things can change in politics. What do you think?