TAZEWELL, Va. — Tazewell County will have the same registrar for the next four years and, unless there are some last-minute filers, the same will be true of many public offices.
The county electoral board voted unanimously May 23 to give Brian Earls another four-year term as the county’s registrar. Earls’ second term will be July 1 to June 30, 2023. State law requires electoral boards to appoint a registrar every four years and make the appointment in either May or June. Earls could be overseeing a sparse field for the November state and county elections.
With just a few days left before the June 11 deadline to file for office, there are several uncontested races. Republican Party Chairman Kyle Cruey submitted four names to the registrar’s office and the party is not scheduled to meet again until after the filing deadline.
Incumbent Commissioner of the Revenue David Anderson, Incumbent Northwestern District Supervisor Travis Hackworth, Eastern District Supervisor candidate Chuck Presley and Sheriff’s candidate Kevin Bales will carry the Republican banner in the fall. Bales is challenging incumbent Democrat Brian Hieatt while Anderson and Hackworth are currently unopposed. Presley is seeking the seat held by Democrat Charlie Stacy. Democrat Maggie Asbury is unopposed in the Northern District. Incumbent treasurer David Larimer, a Democrat, is unopposed, as is incumbent Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Dennis. John Keene, an attorney in Cedar Bluff, had initially sought the Republican nomination for Commonwealth’s Attorney but later withdrew.
There are three open seats on school board and two of them have incumbents who are unopposed. David Woodard, the current chairman has filed for another term in the Northern District and Donna Lawson Whittington is unopposed at this point for another term from the Northwestern District. The Eastern District seat is open and Eric Robinson and Craig Menefee have announced their intention to run, but as of May 30 had not filed the required 125 signatures of registered voters who live in the district.
The county also has three seats on the Soil and Water Conservation District Board with three candidates. Bob Moss, Jack Asbury and Dan Bowling are asking for those seats. There is a special election to fill vacancies on the Cedar Bluff and Tazewell town councils and as of May 30 Kenneth Shepard had filed in Cedar Bluff and Nancy Brooks was circulating a petition in Tazewell County.
And county candidates are not the only ones likely to run unopposed. Sen. Ben Chafin, R-Lebanon, and Del. Will Morefield, R-Tazewell, are currently unopposed. Candidates have until 7 p.m. June 11 to file and be on the ballot. Anyone not filed by the deadline would have to mount a write-in campaign.