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Patterson, McEwen facing off in July primary; Mauldin challenges incumbent Knight for State Rep

By Stewart Voegtlin

stewart@myjpa.com

Jackson resident Mike Patterson qualified to run for District 3 commissioner on April 30. Patterson, who is running as a Republican, will face incumbent District 3 Commissioner Mitch McEwen in the July 20 primary.

The winner will face Democrat Nancy Samuels in the November general election.

Patterson cited "transparency in government" as his reason for running.

"I'd like to have the county checkbook online," Patterson told the Progress-Argus. "I'd like for all wages to be exposed --- have all county employees' salaries online. Anything to do with government should be exposed to the people."

Patterson was part of a vocal group of citizens that spoke out against a 2008 county land purchase of 2.55 acres adjacent to the Administration Facility at 325 West Third Street. The county paid local businessman J.B. White $1,250,000 for the property.

Patterson, in 2008, characterized the deal as "secretive," and initiated a recall of McEwen in 2008 due to alleged "collusion between the businesses of McEwen and J.B. White, which pre- and post-dated the 2.55 acre purchase." Patterson's recall attempt failed.

McEwen was contacted but chose not to comment.

District 4 Commissioner Keith Douglas runs unopposed and will retain his seat.

Jackson resident Bill Mauldin announced his intention to run for State Representative, District 126. Mauldin, who is running as a Republican, will face incumbent David Knight in the July primary.

"I want to help bring growth to the county," Mauldin said. "Look at the industrial and commercial growth happening all around us. We're missing out on all of that and I think a good bit of that is due to our representation under the Gold Dome."

Knight could not be reached for comment.

Early voting for the July primary begins on June 7.