election

At least 22 people have already pulled papers to run for office in Sumner County in 2022.

With a primary election in May, the county’s general election in August, and elections for municipal, state and federal offices in November, the Sumner County Election Office is gearing up for a busy year.

Already, 22 candidates for county offices from county mayor and sheriff to criminal court judge and public defender have picked up petitions to run for office in 2022.

Petitions were available Dec. 20 for the offices of Circuit Court Judge, Chancellor, Criminal Court Judge, District Attorney, Public Defender, County Mayor, County Trustee, General Sessions Judge Division I, General Sessions Judge Division II, General Sessions Judge Division III, Sheriff, Circuit Court Clerk, County Clerk, Register of Deeds and Road Superintendent.

However, those running for County Commissioner and School Board had to wait until Jan. 5 to pick up their petitions. All 24 county commission seats will be on the ballot as well as seats for School Board districts 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11.

Sumner County Administrator of Elections Lori Atchley said her office had to get approval from the state’s election office in order to delay the pick-up date for the county commission and school board petitions.

She attributed the delay to issues related to redistricting and the delay of the 2020 U. S. Census results.

“Normally we get data in mid-March that we didn’t get this year until November,” said Atchley. “And the county commission going from 12 to 24 districts was a major change.”

The Sumner County Commission approved new county commission and school board districts on Nov. 15. While the 11 school board districts were reconfigured slightly to accommodate new growth, the county commission voted to increase its number of districts from 12 to 24. In the past voters chose two commissioners from each of the 12 districts. This year they will choose one representative for each of the 24 districts.

The qualifying deadline for all candidates for county office remains at noon on Feb. 17.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties have called for a primary on May 3, Atchley said.

For the first time this year, school board races will be included on the primary ballot thanks to a new state law allowing candidates for school board to run under a party label. Candidates may also choose to run as Independents.

Candidates running as Independents for any county office are required to follow the same qualifying and withdrawal deadlines, according to Atchley. As in the past, they won’t appear on the primary ballot, but will run in the general election on Aug. 4. All of the current county officials will remain in office until after the Aug. 4 election.

Voters can expect to receive new registration wallet cards by the end of this month, according to Atchley.

She advises citizens to study their new cards so they’ll know what county commission and school board district they are in before going to the polls in May.

“Streets are a main dividing area between districts,” she said. “Don’t assume that just because you live on the same street, that you and your neighbors are all in the same district.”

For information about who has picked up petitions to run for office, or to view the new County Commission and School Board district maps, go to www.votesumnertn.org.

“There are going to be questions — and possible confusion,” said Atchley. “But our office is always willing to help.”

The Sumner County Election Office is located at 355 N. Belvedere Drive in Gallatin. The office can also be reached at 615-452-1456.