Shull, Vaughn ready to jump into Kingsport mayoral race

Matthew Lane • Updated Feb 6, 2019 at 9:58 AM

KINGSPORT — The mayor’s race in Kingsport just got a little more competitive.

Sullivan County Commissioner Pat Shull picked up and filed on Monday a petition to run for mayor in the May 22 city election. Former state Rep. Nathan Vaughn picked up a similar petition on Tuesday.

This brings the total number of possible mayoral candidates to four. Vice Mayor Mike McIntire was the first to file a petition to run for mayor; local businessman Dennis Mabb has also picked up a petition, but he has not yet filed.


Shull has served on the county commission since 2012 and served one term on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen from 2005 to 2009. Shull said he believes it’s time for Kingsport to go in a different direction.

“I’ve always maintained interest in Kingsport city government, and several days went by and no one was challenging Mike McIntire. I said that’s not right,” Shull said. “Whether it’s me or someone else, I think there ought to be competition.”

Vaughn previously served on the BMA as an alderman and vice mayor, and he made a run for mayor four years ago. Vaughn said he’s running this year because he cares about our community and wants to focus on a number of issues, including taxes and health care.

“We need to protect our taxpayers by spending their money on things that improve their lives,” Vaughn said. “We need bold, experienced, fiscally sound leadership to move Kingsport forward. I believe I am able to deliver on this pledge.”

In addition to the two new mayoral candidates, the race for Board of Education also gained another challenger.

Jennifer Feathers, wife of Bob Feathers (chairman of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce), picked up her petition on Tuesday. Feathers works at her husband’s company, Workspace Interiors, and this is the first time she’s considered running for public office.

“My kids are in college and graduated and I thought it was time to start giving back to the community,” Feathers said, noting that third grade reading is a key issue for her. “It’s such a critical measure. I think we need to focus our time, energy and effort on getting all third-graders to that level. That’s where my passion starts.”


Here are the other potential candidates who have picked petitions up to run for alderman:

— Brian Barker: an insurance agent and owner of BBI Insurance Group of Kingsport. He has not yet filed.

— Darrell Duncan: a real estate agent, retired Eastman employee and former alderman. Duncan has filed his petition.

— Chris Mills: a maintenance worker at Walmart. Mills has not yet filed.

— Tommy Olterman: current alderman, former Sullivan County commissioner and retired economic development specialist. Olterman has filed his petition.

— James Phillips: son of former Kingsport Mayor Dennis Phillips, local landlord and entrepreneur. Phillips has filed his petition.


Here are the other potential candidates who have picked petitions up to run for the BOE:

— Joe Cerone: retired and political campaign manager for nearly 50 years. He has not yet filed.

— Shelton Clark: co-owner of Model City Tap House and brother of former Dobyns-Bennett football coach Graham Clark. Clark has filed his petition.

— Liv Detwiler: Spanish professor at East Tennessee State University. Detwiler has filed her petition.

— Todd Golden: current member of the BOE and a senior sales specialist for Novartis (a Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company). Golden has filed his petition.

— Jim Welch: retired educator for Kingsport City Schools (30 years). Welch has filed his petition.

The deadline to file a petition to run in the upcoming city election is noon on Feb. 21.