• 68°

Several Lawrence Co. incumbents retiring

MONTICELLO — More than 15 Democrats have qualified for officein Lawrence County since the qualifying period opened Thursday.

Several offices will have a wide open field where incumbentshave announced their retirement or qualified to run for a differentoffice.

Incumbent District 5 Supervisor Calvin Fortenberry, who hasserved three terms, said he plans to retire.

“I don’t intend to run again, but a man can always change hismind,” Fortenberry said.

“I’ve enjoyed my time here and I think we’ve got a lot done,” headded, citing a few of the board’s achievements while he was inoffice.

Mitchell Barnes, who elected not to run again as a member of theLawrence County Board of Education earlier this year, has qualifiedfor Fortenberry’s district.

Fortenberry is the only supervisor to announce all hisretirement. The other four incumbents still plan to run for office,although only District 1 Supervisor Carey Hedgepeth and District 2Supervisor Billy Joe Boutwell have qualified.

Superintendent of Education John Bull has also announced hisretirement after more than 20 years in the district, including 12as superintendent. Topeka-Tilton Attendance Center Principal AngelaCalcote and Tarvey M. Ward, who teaches and coaches at LawrenceCounty High School, have qualified in their bid to replace him.

Dr. Joe Ward will also not seek re-election as coroner after oneterm of office. Former county coroner Sidney Fortenberry, whoserved several terms before making a failed bid for sheriff in thelast election, and Ronnie Thames are challenging each other for theoffice.

The office of Constable Post 2 will be open this year asincumbent David Tullos makes a bid for sheriff. Tommy Barnett hasqualified for the vacant office.

Tullos will challenge incumbent Sheriff Joel Thames, who iscompleting his first term. Hoyte Dampier is also challengingThames’ bid to repeat.

After the first day’s qualifying, incumbents Cindy R. Stokes,circuit clerk; Lessie J. Butler, constable Post 1; Kevin Rayborn,chancery clerk; and Damon Ready, county attorney, have qualifiedwith no opposition.

Jeff Peterson, who won a special election in 2002 to completethe term of former Tax Assessor/Collector Annette Applewhite,qualified early Friday with no opposition.

In the 2000 election, Stokes said, 80 people had qualified foroffice by the period’s end . That is usual for a county electionyear.

The qualifying deadline for the 2003 election is Feb. 28 at 5p.m., she said.