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County Executive race taking shape

Two local residents have announced their candidacy for Warren County Executive, while the man who currently holds that position has not indicated if he will seek re-election.

When asked Friday if he plans to run again, County Executive Jimmy Haley said, “To date, I have not made an announcement.”

That hasn’t stopped challengers from lining up. Joseph Stotts announced Thursday night in downtown McMinnville that he would be seeking the office of County Executive. Stotts is currently a County Commissioner who serves the 3rd District.

“The time is right. The time is now,” said Stotts to a cheering group of supporters gathered on The Lot. “I understand this is a position of service. It is not about me. It is about serving every single citizen of Warren County.”

Stotts will have to forfeit his seat on the Warren County Commission to run for County Executive. He is seeking the Republican nomination. He is in the midst of his first term as a commissioner.

Stotts will have competition in his quest for the GOP nomination. Terry Bell announced Friday morning he will also be running for County Executive as a Republican.

“I miss the political world and I’ve been keeping up with what’s going on,” said Bell, who served four terms as a County Commissioner in the 11th District before forfeiting his seat to run for County Executive in 2018. “I think there are some things our county should be doing differently.”

The Republican and Democratic primaries for county offices will be held in May 2022. The general election will take place in August 2022.

Haley ran as an independent when he was elected as County Executive in 2018. Independents do not have a primary and automatically advance to the general election. Haley has not said what his party affiliation will be, if any, if he opts to run in 2022.