Six more join race for Polk County board

Published 8:02 pm Friday, February 26, 2010

The race for Polk County commissioner is now on.
Friday was the last day to file and three Republicans, two Democrats and an incumbent switching to Unaffiliated added their names to the list to run for commissioner.
Ted Owens (R), Tom Pack (R), David Moore (R), Margaret Johnson (D) and Benny Smith (D) all filed Friday.
Those candidates join others who filed earlier, including incumbent Ray Gasperson (D), Ricky McFalls (D) and Harry Denton (R).
The final filings will mean a primary is needed on May 4 for both the Democrats and the Republicans. There are three seats open for commissioner.
There will be at least eight eight candidates in the November election, including three Democrats and three Republicans chosen in the primary and at least two Unaffiliated candidates.
Incumbent county commissioners Tommy Melton and Warren Watson have both switched their parties to Unaffiliated from Democrat. They will have until June to turn in petitions with 587 signatures to get on the ballot. Other Unaffiliated candidates could also run by turning in petitions by June.
Owens, Pack, Denton and Smith are former commissioners. McFalls and Johnson are political newcomers and Moore was defeated in the last election. Johnson is the current Polk County Democratic Party Chair.
Another primary will be needed to choose one Republican candidate in a race between Nathan Shields (R), Gregg Osteen (R) and Dennis Bishop (R).
The winner will face current sheriff Donald Hill (D), the only Democrat.

2010 Polk candidates
County commissioner
Ray Gasperson (D) *
Ricky McFalls (D)
Margaret Johnson (D)
Benny Smith (D)
Harry Denton (R)
David Moore (R)
Ted Owens (R)
Tom Pack (R)
Tommy Melton (U) *
Warren Watson (U) *

Clerk of Court
Charlene Owens (D)
Donald Hill (D) *
Dennis Bishop (R)
Gregg Osteen (R)
Nathan Shields (R)

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Board of Education
Geoff Tennant *
Judy Jackson *
Sherry Page *
James Cowan *
Suzanne Metcalf

* Incumbent