Feb. 20 deadline for prospective candidates
By Pam Horne, Managing Editor
In less than a month, 28 days to be exact, Williamson Countians will have a clear picture of the May 6, Republican Primary ballot and participating candidates.
Although the required election petitions have been “pulled” by many incumbents and newcomers to politics, the list of candidates will not be official until noon on Thursday, Feb. 20.
Williamson Election Administrator Ann Beard said yesterday she was finalizing the primary ballot, the most extensive one that voters have considered in an eight years in Williamson County.
This 2014 ballot, ultimately decided by voters in August, will have all four Circuit Court judicial seats, two General Sessions judicial seats, one Juvenile Court judicial seat, the 21st Judicial District Attorney and 21st Judicial District Public Defender, as well as Circuit Court Clerk and Juvenile Court Clerk.
That only covers what happens in Williamson County’s courtrooms.
In countywide government, the Sheriff, County Mayor, County Clerk, County Trustee, and County Register of Deeds are on the ballot.
All of these offices impact property owners, businesses, county employees and more.
More locally, residents throughout the county are represented by county commissioners who serve to approve all county expenditures and matters pertaining to taxation, law enforcement, emergency services and schools to name a few.
Twenty-four commissioners, two from each of the county’s 12 legislative districts will be chosen.
Many current members are seeking re-election, but there are many new names emerging as Feb. 20 nears. Half of the county’s school board members will be included on the August general election ballot, but cannot participate in partisan primaries, according to Beard.
New map, new districts
The last time Williamson County voters had this many public offices to consider was 2006.
The judiciary positions are eight-year terms, followed by countywide seats, which are four years and county commission seats, which are also four.
If you are one of the thousands of individuals who have moved into the county since 2006, a voting district map is included for review.
The most significant changes in voting districts occurred in District 1, District 2, and District 3, which are Fairview, Bethesda/College Grove and Spring Hill, respectively.
If you live in any of these areas, the map will be useful and can be accessed online through www.williamsoncounty.gov, according to Election Administrator Ann Beard.
District 9, which now borders the Thompson’s Station area in the south reaches north to Temple Hills.
Undertaking a redistricting is not a small exercise, according to the county’s information technology director, whose department oversaw the process two years ago.
“Out of our office Perry Perritt, GIS Project Coordinator, led this project with the Board of Commissioners Redistricting Committee for a few months,” said county IT Director David Thomas.
With 540-square miles and more than 180,000 people, drawing district lines that convey equity is no easy task, Thomas said.
“We are well-shaped and equitable. The shapes of our districts are logical. Our boundaries are sort of regular polygons as much as possible—ideally, you would want them to be checkers on a checkerboard, but that is not possible. They also have to be skewed for population. Legally, you can only have a small margin of variation between districts.”
Posted on: 1/22/2014