JACKSBORO, TN. (WLAF)- With a field of incumbents only, it looked as though the Campbell County Board of Education wouldn’t be seeing any new faces this year; but that’s not entirely true.
In each of the five districts, the incumbents aren’t being challenged. However, one of the candidates is an incumbent in name only.
Second district school board member Josh James is running again but not in the district that elected him two years ago.
James, who is half way through his first term, is running in the fourth district this year. Noah Smith, who ran against Jennifer Orick for her husband’s unexpired term following his death in 2018, has chosen not to run for a full term in the fourth district. Smith’s decision not to run generated the vacancy James is hoping to fill in the fourth district.
James still lives in the second district, according to county property records. He is reportedly moving to the fourth district by election day. A candidate doesn’t have to live in the district they are running in in order to qualify for the race, according to Mark Goins, Tennessee coordinator of elections. “They must live in the district on election day,” Goins said.
Given that James is unopposed in the fourth district race, and will move, he will no longer represent the second district. Following the August election voters in the second district will only be represented by one member until the county commission takes action. Brent Lester, current chair of the board and also unopposed in his race, will be the sole representative for the second district pending an appointment of someone to fill the seat.
“An empty seat can be placed on the ballot 60 days before an election,” Goins said. In this case, because James hasn’t resigned his seat, it will be up to the county commission to appoint someone to fill the seat following the August election.
When the second district seat is placed on the November ballot, it will be for an unexpired two year term, according to election commission officials. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED -05/04/2020- 6AM)