Today’s the day for Kingsport, Bluff City, Bristol voters

Rick Wagner • May 21, 2019 at 8:53 AM

KINGSPORT — If you are a Kingsport resident 18 or older, registered to vote and want a voice in how the city of Kingsport and its school system are operated, today’s your chance to make a difference. Voters in Bristol, Tennessee, and Bluff City will make similar choices today, too. 

The eight polling places for the Kingsport city election are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, and the results will determine who becomes mayor for two years, as well as who gets four-year terms for three alderman seats and three Board of Education seats. The Bristol and Bluff City polling places also will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with Bristol voters choosing candidates for alderman, school board and juvenile judge and Bluff City voters choosing aldermen.

A list of the eight Kingsport city election voting locations, some consolidated for city elections only, is available at www.scelect.org, as are the polling places and candidates in all three municipal elections.


Five people are seeking to be the Model City’s mayor for the next two years, a position for which incumbent John Clark is not seeking re-election. The candidates are: Joe Carr; Dennis Mabb; Vice Mayor Mike McIntire; former Alderman and current Sullivan County Commissioner Patrick W. Shull; and Nathan Vaughn, a former alderman, vice mayor and state representative. 

Six people are seeking three open alderman seats for four-year terms. McIntire is not seeking re-election as alderman because he is running for mayor and incumbent Joe Begley also is not seeking re-election. Those running are: Christopher Bulle, former Alderman Darrell Duncan, Charles Honaker Jr., Chris Mills, incumbent Tommy Olterman and James Phillips.

And for school board, five are seeking three available seats. Incumbents Susan Lodal and Karen Reed-Wright are not seeking re-election. The candidates are: Julie Brinker Byers, Shelton Clark, Liv H. Detwiler, incumbent Todd Golden and Jim Welch.


A sample ballot is available on the Sullivan County Election Commission’s website at www.scelect.org. That is also where unofficial election results will be posted shortly after 8 p.m., starting with the early voting results. 

As previously reported, when early voting ended Thursday, May 16, the Sullivan County Election Commission reported that 2,716 of Kingsport’s 31,566 registered voters had cast ballots since May 1. That’s about 8.6 percent of the registered voters, a higher early vote turnout than the last city elections two years ago — when the incumbent mayor was running unopposed — but lower than in May 2015, when five people were running for mayor. Early turnout in 2017 totaled 2,093, and early turnout in 2015 totaled 3,401.