Qualifications Announced For Public Offices in 2014 Elections

August 8, 2013
by: 
Dwayne Page
Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections

2014 promises to be a big election year in DeKalb County.

Offices up for election include County Mayor, Circuit Court Clerk, County Clerk, Register of Deeds, Trustee, Road Supervisor, Sheriff, General Sessions Judge, and all fourteen county commissioners and possibly unfilled constable seats. All terms are for four years except the General Sessions Judgeship, which is an eight year term.

In the 13th Judicial District, which includes DeKalb County, two criminal court judges, two circuit court judges, a chancellor, district attorney general, and district public defender are also to be elected, each to serve an eight year term.

"If the DeKalb Democratic party calls a primary for May 6, as expected, the first day petitions can be issued is November 22, 2013," said Dennis Stanley, Administrator of Elections. "The qualifying deadline will be NOON February 20, 2014," he said.

"If a primary is held in May, this establishes the qualifying deadline for Republican and Independent candidates," Stanley continued. "Republicans and Independents must qualify at the same time. Republicans usually certify their nominees by Caucus," he said.

Candidates for each office must meet qualifications as set out in state law, but there are some unique qualifications for the offices of Sheriff and Road Supervisor. "The process involves more than just submitting qualifying petitions for those offices," said Stanley.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR ROAD SUPERVISOR IN DEKALB COUNTY:

In order to be certified, a candidate for county road supervisor must meet the basic qualifications of Tennessee Code Annotated § 8-18-101 and pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 54-7-104, must file an affidavit and such other evidence as the Tennessee Highway Officials Certification Board shall require with the board not later than fourteen (14) days prior to the qualifying deadline for candidates in a popular election or, where the position is appointed, prior to appointment to the office. In order to be certified, a candidate must:

(1) Be a graduate of an accredited school of engineering, with at least 2 years’ experience in highway construction or maintenance; or

(2) Be licensed to practice engineering in Tennessee; or

(3) Have at least 4 years’ experience in a supervisory capacity in highway construction or maintenance; or

(4) Have a combination of education and experience equivalent to either (1) or (2).

QUALIFICATIONS FOR SHERIFF:

Candidates for sheriff must meet the basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101; and
- No person shall engage in the practice of law or serve as a member of the general assembly while serving as sheriff. (TCA 8-8-101)

A person shall:
1. Be a citizen of the United States;
2. Be at least 25 years of age prior to the date of qualifying for election;
3. Be a qualified voter of the county and a resident of the county for one (1) full year prior to the date of the qualifying deadline;

4. Have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent in educational training as recognized by the Tennessee state board of education;

5. Not have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to or entered a plea of nolo contendere to any misdemeanor crime of domestic violence or any felony charge or any violation of any federal or state laws or city ordinances relating to force, violence, theft, dishonesty, gambling, liquor or controlled substances;

6. Be fingerprinted and have the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation make a search of local, state, and federal fingerprint files for any criminal record. Fingerprints are to be taken under the direction of the T.B.I. It shall be the responsibility of the T.B.I. to forward all criminal history results to the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) commission for evaluation of qualifications;

7. Not have been released, separated, or discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States with a Dishonorable or Bad Conduct discharge, or as a consequence of conviction at court martial for either state or federal offenses;

8. Have been certified by a Tennessee licensed health care provider qualified in the psychiatric or psychological fields as being free any disorder, as set forth in the current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition (DSM III) or its successor, of the American Psychiatric Association; at the time of the examination, that would, in the professional judgment of the examiner, impair the subject’s ability to perform any essential function of the job; and

9. Have at least three (3) years of full-time experience as a peace officer standards and training commission certified law enforcement officer in the previous ten (10) years or at least three (3) years of full-time experience as a state or federal certified law enforcement officer with training equivalent to that required by the peace officer standards and training commission in the previous ten (10) years. (This requirement does not apply in any county having a metropolitan form of government where the sheriff does not have law enforcement powers.)

Shall file with the POST Commission:

(A) An affidavit sworn to and signed by the candidate affirming that the candidate meets the requirements of this section; and

(B) A confirmation of psychological evaluation form certified by the psychologist/psychiatrist providing psychological evaluation as provided for in §8-8-102(a) (8) for the purposes of sheriff candidacy qualification.

According to Brian Grisham, Post Commission Executive Secretary, "The POST Commission has very tight deadlines and a candidate's failure to submit (required forms) prior to two weeks before the qualifying deadline will prevent the POST Commission from certifying his or her name to be included on the ballot."

"The deadline for candidates to file with the POST Commission for counties having a primary election is February 6, 2014. The qualifying deadline and the deadline for POST to certify names to the county election commission is February 20, 2014."

Qualifications for other county and district public offices:

GENERAL SESSIONS/JUVENILE COURT JUDGE
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101; and
- Shall be at least 30 years of age and a resident of the state for 5 years and of the circuit or district 1 year. (TN Constitution Article 6, Section 4)
- Shall be licensed to practice law in this state. (TCA 16-15-5005)

COUNTY MAYOR/ COUNTY EXECUTIVE
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101; and
- Shall be:
(1) A qualified voter of the county;
(2) At least 25 years of age; and
(3) A resident of the county for at least 1 year prior to the date of filing a nominating petition for election to such office.
- Shall continue to reside in the county during the term of office and shall not, during the term of office, hold any other public office for profit. (TCA 5-6-104)

COUNTY COMMISSION
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101; and
- Shall reside within and be a qualified voter of the district represented. (TCA 5-5-102)

TRUSTEE
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101
- Shall reside within the county. (TCA 8-48-101)

REGISTER OF DEEDS
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101
- Shall reside within the county. (TCA 8-48-101)

CIRCUIT COURT CLERK
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101; and
- Shall reside in the county wherein the court is held. (TCA 18-1-102)

COUNTY CLERK
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101
- Shall reside within the county. (TCA 8-48-101)

SCHOOL BOARD
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101; and
- Shall reside within and be a qualified voter of the district represented. (TCA 49-2-201)
- Shall file with the county election commission proof of graduation from high school or receipt of a GED, evidenced by a diploma or other documentation satisfactory to the commission. (TCA 49-2-202)
- No member of the county legislative body nor any other county official shall be eligible for election as a member of the county board of education. (TCA 49-2-202)

CONSTABLE
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101;
- A person shall:
(1) Be at least 21 years of age;
(2) Be a qualified voter of the district;
(3) Possess at least a high school diploma or general educational development certificate (GED). Persons holding the office on or before June 30, 2011, and those reelected after July 1, 2011 without an interruption of service in the office shall only be able to read and write;
(4) Not have been convicted in any federal or state court of a felony; and
(5) Not have been separated or discharged from the armed forces of the United States with other than an honorable discharge;
- Shall file with the county election commission, in conjunction with the nominating petition, an affidavit sworn to and signed by the candidate affirming that the candidate meets the requirements of this section. (TCA 8-10-102)

CHANCELLOR
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101; and
- Shall be at least 30 years of age and a resident of the state for 5 years and of the circuit or district 1 year. (TN Constitution Article 6, Section 4)
- Shall be learned in the law, evidenced by being authorized to practice law in the courts of Tennessee. (TCA 17-1-101, 17-1-102, 17-1-103, 17-1-106)

CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE/CRIMINAL COURT JUDGE
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101; and
- Shall be at least 30 years of age and a resident of the state for 5 years and of the circuit or district 1 year. (TN Constitution Article 6, Section 4)
- Shall be learned in the law, evidenced by being authorized to practice law in the courts of Tennessee. (TCA 17-1-101, 17-1-102, 17-1-103, 17-1-106) 4

DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101; and
- Shall be a duly licensed attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state and a resident of the state for 5 years and of the circuit or district 1 year. (TN Constitution Article 6, Section 5)

DISTRICT PUBLIC DEFENDER
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101; and
- Shall be a duly licensed attorney admitted to the practice of law in this state and a resident of the state for 5 years and of the judicial district for 1 year. (TCA 8-14-202)

DeKalb County School board seats in the first, second, third, fourth, and seventh districts will be filled in the 2014 August County General Election. Terms are four years. School board candidates are non-partisan, which means they run neither as Republicans or Democrats. The qualifying date for school board candidates is not until April, 2014.

QUALIFICATIONS FOR STATE OFFICES:

UNITED STATES SENATOR
- 30 years of age; Citizen of United States for 9 years; and a Tennessee resident. (US Constitution Article 1, Section 3)

UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE
- 25 years of age; Citizen of United States for 7 years; and a Tennessee resident. (US Constitution Article 1, Section 2)

GOVERNOR
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101 and
- Shall be at least thirty (30) years of age, shall be a citizen of the United States, and shall have been a citizen of this State 7 years before the election. (TN Constitution Article 3, Section 3)

STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101; and
- In each party's primary, its voters in each senatorial district shall elect one (1) man and one (1) woman as members of the state executive committee. (TCA 2-13-103)
- Shall be bona fide members of the political party whose election they seek. (TCA 2-13-104)

STATE SENATOR
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8–18–101; and
- Shall be a citizen of the United States, at least 30 years of age, and shall have resided 3 years in this State and 1 year in the county or district represented immediately preceding the election. (TN Constitution Article 2, Sect. 10)
- Each district shall be represented by a qualified voter of that district. (TN Constitution Article 2, Section 6a)

STATE REPRESENTATIVE
- Basic qualifications of TCA 8-18-101; and
- Shall be a citizen of the United States, at least 21 years of age, and shall have resided 3 years in this State and 1 year in the county represented immediately preceding the election. (TN Constitution Article 2, Section 9)
- Each district shall be represented by a qualified voter of that district. (TN Constitution Article 2, Section 5a)

General Provisions Governing Qualifications for Office:

The general qualifications of persons permitted to hold public office are set out in TCA § 8-18-101. This section provides that all persons of the age of eighteen (18) years who are citizens of the United States and of this state, and have been inhabitants of the state, county, district, or circuit for the period required by the constitution and laws of the state, are qualified to hold office under the authority of this state except:

(1) Those who have been convicted of offering or giving a bribe, or of larceny, or any other offense declared infamous by law, unless restored to citizenship in the mode pointed out by law;

(2) Those against whom there is a judgment unpaid for any moneys received by them, in any official capacity, due to the United States, to this state, or any county thereof;

(3) Those who are defaulters to the treasury at the time of the election, and the election of any such person shall be void;

(4) Soldiers, seamen, marines, or airmen in the regular army or navy or air force of the United States; and

(5) Members of congress, and persons holding any office of profit or trust under any foreign power, other state of the union, or under the United States.

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