Friday, June 12, 2009

June 12, 2009 New Hamblen County Election Administrator?

There is a rather persistent rumor that Wanda Neal, current Hamblen County Administrator of Elections, will resign soon and open the way for the new Republican majority on the Hamblen County Election Commission to appoint a new administrator to the post.

The local position of Administrator of Elections is a plum appointed position with pay of around $62,000 plus health insurance, benefits, retirement, etc.

After her initial appointment and throughout the years that the Democrats continued to have a majority in the state legislature and thus a majority on the local election commission, Wanda was reappointed by the Democrat majority Hamblen County Election Commission.

With the new Republican majority in the state legislature and thus on the local election commission, it appears that Wanda's re-appointment will not take place and so she is going to resign/retire.

If she retires, there will not be a court fight as is occurring in a few counties where longtime Democrat-appointed administrators don't want to give up their position despite the change in election commissions across the state.

At various times, I heard that one of the current Republican election commissioners (Judy Blackburn) wanted Wanda's job and that at least two other individuals wanted the post.

With the recent appointment of Hamblen Election Commissioner Judy Blackburn to the state election commission, it's up in the air as to whether she still wants the Administrator's post or whether either of the two other Republican election commissioners (Lyle Doty and Joe Swann) might decide to seek the Administrator's job.

Of course, things can change rapidly. Nobody knows for sure at this point. It's possible that Wanda might keep the job or that a well-connected "outsider" might emerge as a dark-horse appointment.

Members of the Election Commission are Gayle Bruce (D), Dwaine Evans (D), Judy Blackburn (R), Lyle Doty (R), and Joe Swann (R).

1 comment:

Tim said...

Perhaps with a new administrator absentee voting will become efficient. Ms. Neal saw nothing wrong with sending an absentee ballot to the voter's address of record instead of to the address where the absent voter was, hence the request for an absentee ballot. Of course by the time all this was realized by Ms. Neal the election was over.