The qualifying deadline is just over one week away for the 6th District Warren County Commission seat left vacant by the death of Billy Earl Jones.
Mr. Jones died Nov. 17 in the middle of his third term as a county commissioner. Residents of the 6th District have until Dec. 10 at noon to submit a petition with at least 25 signatures of registered voters in that district. Any person who meets that requirement will be placed on the ballot along with candidates for Assessor of Property in the March 1 Democratic Primary.
Petitions are currently available at the Warren County Election Commission at 201 Locust Street.
Before next year’s election, members of the Warren County Commission will appoint a temporary replacement to fill the seat formerly held by Mr. Jones. That is expected to take place at this month’s regular meeting set for Monday, Dec. 15.
Any registered voter can attend the meeting and make a nomination for the seat. However, that person must live in the 6th District. The first person who receives a majority vote from the 23-member County Commission will be appointed to fill the seat until the special election.
When a commissioner has died in office in the past, the trend has been to appoint his wife. Commissioner M.A. Bouldin was the last county official to die in office in October 2013. His wife, Johnnie Bell Bouldin, was appointed to fill his District 7 seat the following month. However, she resigned in April 2014 when she moved out of the district.
Before that, Melissa Yancy was appointed commissioner in 2008 to fill the seat left vacant by the death of her husband, Bill Yancy. She remains on the commission.
County Executive Herschel Wells said Monday it is his understanding Linda Jones, the wife of Billy Earl, is interested in the seat. Regardless of who is appointed later this month, they will still have to win next year’s special election to keep the seat until it expires in August of 2018.