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The Scoop 7-21
Will Haley run for county executive?
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Visitors flocked to Westwood Church of Christ on Tuesday afternoon to show their gratitude to Jackie Matheny for his nearly 23 years of service as our sheriff.
Turns out, Matheny received well deserved praise.
I was looking over Warren County's complete list of 44 sheriffs and found Matheny is our longest serving sheriff -- by far. Going all the way back to 1808 and William C. Smartt, 21 of our sheriffs served for just two years or less. That's 47 percent of them.
The next closest sheriff to Matheny in terms of tenure is Isham Perkins, who served 14 years from 1816 to 1830.
Everett Pearsall is the only other Warren County sheriff to reach double digits in terms of tenure. Pearsall served his first term from 1964 to 1968, then served a second term from 1972 to 1978 for 10 total years.
An unintended consequence of the Matheny farewell banquet is it got me thinking about next year's election and who may replace him as sheriff. It also has many people asking Sheriff Matheny if he plans to run for another political office.
One of the biggest spots up for grabs is the state House seat that's being vacated by Judd Matheny. I think anyone who has followed state government this past year knows how desperately we need a Warren County resident in Nashville. When we don't have representation, it's funny how things tend to lose funding, like our Driver Testing Center.
The problem with the House seat currently held by Judd Matheny is it includes all of Coffee County and just one-third of Warren County. The chance of a local resident winning are remote.
Also on the horizon in August 2018 is the election of our county executive. I'm hearing whispers McMinnville Mayor Jimmy Haley is considering a run for county executive, a rumor he didn't dispel when I asked him about it Tuesday.
Said Haley, "As a public servant, I always want to represent the whole community. Working together is the formula for success. I will continue to evaluate my options on how I can serve the future needs of all Warren County."
That seems to me a long way of saying, "Yes, I'm running for county executive."
The interesting aspect of this is a potential Haley run for county executive would come with two years left on his term as McMinnville mayor. Could Haley do both and be king of all Warren County?
Election administrator Donna Smith told me Wednesday she's not aware of any city charter which would prohibit Haley from holding a county office too. I couldn't find anything in Tennessee Code Annotated that prevents both offices from being held simultaneously, but I'm sure the question will receive much more scrutiny if Mayor Haley does run for county executive.
If one person holds both jobs, perhaps it would lead to more city/ county harmony. Or perhaps Haley would argue more with himself.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.