The county general and state primary elections ended with several newcomers being elected and several longtime incumbents retaining their seats.

County commission

Several incumbent county commissioners were re-elected as were challengers:

  • District 1 – Incumbents Rusty Wooten and Sheila Barlow defeated challenger Rod Hickman. Hickman is also running to be Covington’s mayor.
  • District 2 – Incumbent Michael W. Naifeh and challenger Justin Gangaware defeated Charles Maxwell and Ryan Ripperton. Longtime District 2 commissioner Tommy Dunavant, who serves as the county emergency management agency director, decided not to seek re-election.
  • District 3 – Incumbent Richard Kelley and challenger John Anthony Mashburn defeated Steve Bringle. Longtime commissioner Jeff Mason did not seek re-election.
  • District 4 – Incumbent Walker Adams was re-elected and Brett Giannini, a longtime Atoka alderman, was elected. Current commissioner Stephen Shopher ran for the county executive seat in the Republican primary.
  • District 5 – Randy Roe was elected and incumbent Glenn Turner was re-elected. Longtime commissioner Bob Wilson did not seek re-election.
  • District 6 – Incumbents Jimbo Adkins and Michelle Smith defeated challenger Caleb Holt.
  • District 7 – Incumbent Courtney Fee challenger Brad Case defeated Christie Jarvis. Longtime commissioner Harold “Poochie” Twisdale, decided to step away from the county commission.
  • District 8 – Incumbents James “Lamont” Sneed and Cecil G. Watson defeated Charles Woelm
  • District 9 – Incumbents Jonathan Murphy and David Copeland ran unopposed

Circuit Court Clerk

One of the most contentious races was that for circuit court clerk. With 52.7 percent of the vote, Mike Forbess, who’s been in office for more than two decades, won re-election over challenger Scottie DeLashmit.


School board

In the school board races, Loretta Eubanks defeated Brett Thomas for the District 2 seat, Jason Jenkins defeated Patricia Mills in District 6, and Ben Kirk defeated incumbent Belinda Rozell in District 8. Matt McCann won his primary in May and was already elected to the Distrct 4 seat.
Steve Clark (District 2) and Grant Shipley (District 4), both former educators, chose not to run for re-election leaving the school board. District 6’s board member, Richard Joyner, died earlier this year. Mary Proctor has finished the remainder of his term.
Constable Mike Osborn was re-elected, defeated Jeffrey Johnson and Robert Lomax.
Other county, judicial district races

Local attorney Kasey Culbreath was elected 25th Judicial District Chancellor, Part 2, a seat formerly held by Martha Brasfield. Brasfield has retired.

The following ran unopposed or won their primary in May:

  • Weber McCraw, Circuit Court Judge Part 1
  • Blake Neill, Circuit Court Judge Part 2
  • William C. “Bill” Cole, Chancellor Part 1
  • Mark E. Davidson, District Attorney General
  • Bo Burk, Public Defender
  • Jeff Huffman, County Executive
  • Kristie Glass Maxwell, County Trustee
  • Bill Peeler, General Sessions Judge
  • Shannon Beasley, Tipton County Sheriff
  • Mary Gaither, County Clerk
  • Claudia Peeler, Register of Deeds
  • Brian “Moody” Max, Constable (Dist. 1)
  • Chris Fisher, Constable (Dist. 2)
  • Curtis Mayo, Constable (Dist. 4)
  • Darren Smith, Constable (Dist. 5)
  • James “Shugs” Stroud, Constable (Dist. 6)

Those who’ve been elected to county and school board positions will take office within the month.

State primary


Bill Lee is the only Republican in the primary for governor. He received 4,479 votes in Tipton County (62 write-ins).

Democrats gave J.B. Smiley five more votes than Jason B. Martin, 362-357. Carnita Faye Atwater received 284 votes. At press time, Martin was leading Smiley with 93 percent of precincts across the state reporting.

U.S. House of Representatives, Dist. 8

Rep. David Kustoff (R) won his primary, defeating Danny Ray Bridger Jr., Gary Dean Clouse, and Bob Hendry. In Tipton County, he received 86 percent of the vote. The areas east of Hwy. 51 are included in District 8.

Lynnette P. Williams won the democratic primary and will challenge Kustoff. In Tipton County she received 290 votes (58.9%).

U.S. House of Representatives, Dist. 9

Rep. Steve Cohen (D), who has represented the areas of Tipton County west of Hwy. 51 since the state was redistricted earlier this year, won his primary. He received 444 votes (85.38%).

At press time, Charlotte Bergman (R) was leading Brown Dudley in the republican primary. In Tipton she received 996 votes (47.95%) to Dudley’s 946 (45.55%).

Tennessee House of Representatives, Dist. 81

Rep. Debra Moody (R) ran unopposed in the primary. She will face opposition in the election by independent candidate Nick Sawall of Atoka.

State Committeeman, Committeewoman, Dist. 32

Lee Mills (R) was unopposed in his run for state committeeman. Charlotte Kelley (R) and Deborah Reed (D), will be on the ballot for committeewoman.

The state primary election will take place in November along with the municipal elections. The qualifying deadline for the municipal elections is Aug. 18.

Voter turnout

Voter turnout was 15.9 percent.
There were 3,543 early and absentee ballots and 2,707 ballots on election day.
Tipton County has 39,106 registered voters.
Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.