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Candidate petitions now available

Candidates for General Session Judge Division III, Wilson County Property Assessor, District 17 County Commissioner and 15th Judicial District Public Defender can now pick up petitions to run for offices. The qualifying deadline will be Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, at noon.

Candidates are required to have a minimum of 25 voters that are eligible to vote for them sign their petition. The Wilson County Election Commission posts all petitions picked up and filed on their website,

“Having the most current information available on our website allows our office to keep voters informed in a timely and convenient way,” said Phillip Warren, Administrator of Elections.

Republican candidates that qualify will be included on the March 3, 2020, County Republican Primary ballot. The winner of the Wilson County Republican primary will be on the Aug. 6, 2020, Wilson County General ballot along with any Independent candidates that qualify in December.

The March 3, 2020, election will be the Republican and Democratic Presidential Preference Primary along with the Wilson County Republican Primary. The Presidential Preference Primary is held every four years to allow the Tennessee Republican and Democratic Parties an election to choose the candidates and delegates for their national conventions. These conventions choose the candidates for U.S. President that will appear on the Nov. 3, 2020, General Election ballot. These elections are administered by the county election commissions with all expenses being reimbursed to the county by the State of Tennessee. 

Primary elections are nominating elections held by the Republican and Democratic parties. Voters that participate in a Primary Election consider themselves Republicans or Democrats — there are no Primary Elections for Independents. To participate in the primary, voters are required to choose which party primary they intend to vote in. Tennessee is an “Open Primary” state and has two recognized parties — the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Voters are not registered as a member of any party and may vote as their current party allegiance dictates.

State law states that, “A registered voter is entitled to vote in a primary election for offices for which the voter is qualified to vote at the polling place where the voter is registered if: 1. The voter is a bona fide member of and affiliated with the political party in whose primary the voter seeks to vote; or 2. At the time the voter seeks to vote, the voter declares allegiance to the political party in whose primary the voter seeks to vote and states that the voter intends to affiliate with that party.”

Voters who are not affiliated with one these parties may choose to only vote in the general election held in August and November 2020. Winning the party’s nomination in a Primary Election is the first step in the election process. It narrows the field in a political party to one individual for a specific office.

“The staff of the Wilson County Election Commission is always available to answer questions and provide information concerning the procedures and legal requirements involved with seeking elected office, voting, voter registration and any other election related issue in Wilson County,” said Tammy Smith, assistant administrator of elections. “We encourage you to visit our website or to contact our office.”

To learn more about elections, voting and how you can be involved with Wilson County elections contact the Wilson County Election Commission at 615-444-0216 or online at

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