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RuCo Republicans set candidates at historic caucus

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State Sen. Bill Ketron prays with Lt. Gov. and Tennessee gubernatorial candidate Ron Ramsey at the beginning of the RuCo GOP's county caucus. TMP/M. Willard
Rutherford County Republicans packed the Historic County Courthouse to caucus for county elected offices.

“This is overwhelming to see this many people here. … We’re friends with a common vision,” Burgess said.

The Republican Party approved 227 delegates and 61 alternates to nominate its candidates for County Mayor, Trustee, Clerk, Sheriff, Register of Deeds and Circuit Court Clerk.

County Mayor
Incumbent Rutherford County Mayor Ernest Burgess was unopposed in his nomination as the Republican candidate.

“I’ve been honored to serve as this county’s first Republican mayor for the past three and a half years,” Burgess said after accepting the nomination.

Rutherford County Trustee
Incumbent Trustee Teb Batey is also the first Republican to hold that county office.

He was unopposed and nominated unanimously by acclamation.

The Trustee serves as the treasurer of the county. The office serves as the county bank since it handles all receipts and disbursements for the operating departments of general government, public education, and highways. The Trustee is responsible for billing and collecting property taxes, maintaining accurate records of property tax payments, managing the total cash of the county, and investing the idle cash funds.

Rutherford County Clerk
County Clerk was the only office with multiple candidates vying to replace retiring Clerk Georgia Lynch.

Lisa Duke-Crowell and Todd Malone were both nominated for the office.

Duke-Crowell currently works in the County Clerks office as a supervisor of the Title and Renewal Clerks in the Motor Vehicle Division.

Malone is an insurance agent, MTSU graduate and veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

After ballots were passed out to all the delegates and counted, Duke-Crowell was declared the winner with 160 votes to Malone’s 36 votes.

Rutherford County Sheriff

Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Arnold was nominated to run against incumbent Sheriff Truman Jones.

Arnold has served as a Rutherford County Sheriff’s Deputy for 11 years, working as a detention officer, patrol officer, student resource officer and with the gang unit.

Arnold was demoted from student resource officer and transferred from La Vergne High School last year for alleged “failure to properly investigate an offense” involving a handgun.

Rutherford County Register of Deeds
Small business owner Heather Dawbarn was nominated to challenge Jennifer Gerhart as Register of Deeds.

The Register of Deeds is charged with recording and preserving certain documents that provide public notice of property ownership, liens and contracts, and other transactions and information that affects the public interest.

Rutherford County Circuit Court Clerk
Laura Bohling was nominated unanimously by acclamation as the Republican candidate for Circuit Court Clerk.

Eloise Gather is the current clerk, which is responsible for all filings, processing and final disposition of cases, which include several phases of the Civil and Criminal law procedures in the Juvenile, General Sessions (Civil & Criminal), Circuit Civil and Circuit Criminal Courts.
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Members Opinions:
March 05, 2010 at 10:50am
Burgess and Batey are my choice... but, these others I don't know never heard of any of them except Arnold..none of them have any experience to run the 5 largest county in the state, I don't care what party they are I am voting for who can do the job now...not learn. and this guy I have read about who is running for Sheriff, what gives he is just a demoted deputy that is mad at his boss, I have read and heard he did not investigate a weapon in school, among other things...I said a weapon in school, he's lucky he did not get fired. Now let me see 5 years detention, 2 years patrol, 2 years SRO and now another year in detention due to being demoted. a whole total of 11 years, no experience, no supervisor skills... come on... I say grow up and be thankful you have a job son.... good luck to all, You too Mr Arnold.. but, I have to vote for experience.
March 05, 2010 at 4:20pm
I firmly believe its time for the leader of our do nothing sheriff dept. to go. I guess it could get worse, but to me its worth the coin flip.
March 05, 2010 at 4:22pm
Anybody is going to be better than Jones and the good old boy network at RCSD. Truman Jones and his cronies have been there way too long and we need a fresh face. It seems already Jones is dishing out the dirt when he has plenty of his own. Lisa Crowell is the obvious choice for the retiring Lynch. TEB Batey is as honest as they come and has earned everyone's respect. Anyone who has run a business and suceeded in the private sector has an edge. Maybe some fresh faces are just what we need. Maybe a good house cleaning at the county commission is in order as well.
March 05, 2010 at 6:10pm
Here is what I am not understanding about the Republican Party in Rutherford County. Although it was not specifically stated in this article, the party has been campaigning on the failure of the Obama administration and the Democratic Congress. For an in-depth look at that, you should visit the DNJ here: http://tinyurl.com/ybhu6za. Laura Bohling made the comment that the Democrats weren't doing their "chores," and that the GOP needs to hold the Dems accountable.

And yet, the GOP seems steadfast in wanting to leave Burgess in his current position despite his inability to function as an effective mayor. In the fall, the mayor selected attorneys to handle the lawsuit over Bible Park, although the county law states that the County Commission holds the sole power to pay attorneys from public funds.

While he feels that the law was "out of date," the law is the law. How can we sit by and let Burgess continue to misappropriate funding and mishandle the delicate balance of the law? And how are the Republicans able to sand by him for another term?

If they are going to blame the Democratic Party for all of their shortcomings in years past, you would think that they would admit to their own mistakes. Burgess is this giant mistake. It is unbelievable that they have chosen him to fill their ballot, especially with an unopposed nomination.

As I drove past their headquarters on the square yesterday, I couldn't help but notice the giant poster of Ronald Reagan hanging in their front window. The irony of that poster is even more astounding than the nomination for Burgess. Do they even remember Reagan or his policies, or are they simply suffering from the same delusion he did in his final years?

Reagan stood for something, fiscal responsibility and fiscal conservatism. Now, our Republican Party is reduced to insane spending habits like this (http://tinyurl.com/yc68ubp) to save their own kind from legal destruction.

Gloria Steinem visited MTSU this week and discussed the current incarnation of the GOP. Steinem said that the Republican Party has been taken over by extremists and racist groups that fundamentally made up the Democratic Party in the past. Steinem is right when she called out to those who are still pretending that they are Republicans and asked them to reclaim their party for what it originally stood for.

Calling all "Republicans," where are you and what are you going to do for the flailing remnants of your party?
March 06, 2010 at 12:03am
Truthandjustice1: Sir/Ma'am, you are misinformed about Deputy Arnold. I will not try to sway your vote, I respect your choice to vote for who you like, on whatever grounds you choose to. In regards to the incident which ultimately led to his demotion, if you go back and read the newspaper articles you'll read that 'Girl A' told 'Guidance Counselor' that she thought 'Boy A' might have a gun at school. So, 'Guidance Counselor' tells Deputy Arnold there might be a gun at school, but REFUSES to give the name of "Girl A" or that of "Boy A". Deputy Arnold could do no investigation because the 'Guidance Counselor' obstructed him from doing so. If anyone should have been punished it should have been 'Guidance Counselor'. Also, what experience did Sheriff Jones have before working at the Sheriff's Department that would have qualified him in your eyes to run for Sheriff?
March 06, 2010 at 12:57am
thankyoufornotsmoking...sir it is you who is misinformed, I have read the reports.puffery is all I see from the likes of you my friend. I know the facts, they are public record, this person arnold, has been written up and suspended a number of times, and was in facts on the losing end of a lawsuit he brought against the county. Judge Corlewruled against him and he is sitting in the jail as a non-certified deputy..can't carry a weapon. I checked and he is not anything of federal anything.....he talked up his experience but, that will come out in the future.
March 08, 2010 at 7:13am
Those that think the Sheriff does nothing, do you not knwo of the millions of dollars in money and drugs that are seized by the Sheriff's Office from the Interstate? What about the numerous problems and crises averted due to the SRO program? Sure, there are some family of high supervsors there. But that has not affected the quality of the services provided. Those who are angry at the Sheriff are buying into all the hype rather than going and searching out ALL of the facts, good and bad.
March 09, 2010 at 9:22am
My several experiences with the sheriff's dept. is why I refer them as "do nothings". It has nothing to do with any hype, it has to do with my own experiences.
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