Maury Co. Holding First Republican Primary Election - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Maury Co. Holding First Republican Primary Election

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by Janet Kim

COLUMBIA, Tenn. - For many counties across the state, local elected positions such as District Attorney, Sheriff and Commissioners have remained non-partisan. However, that could be about to change in some places.

One of those places is Maury County, which is expected to hold a Republican primary election on May 6, but the decision isn't without push back from some members, even of their own party.

In a community the size of Maury County, local politics is thriving.

"In our area,we know who the democrats are and we know who the republicans are, and we know who the true independents are," said Maury County Commissioner June Beckum.

Despite the peacefulness at public square, controversy is brewing ahead.

"We have never had party politics involved in local elections," said Jerry Colley, who is on the Maury County Election Commission and used to serve as the Maury County Democratic Chairman.

For the first time in its history, Maury County is set to hold a Republican Primary Election for what's been non-partisan local offices, for positions such as circuit court judges, county commissioners, sheriff, and clerk.

Patricia Junkin, who serves as the chair of the Maury County Republican Party believes it will make their candidates transparent.

"I think there are many who claim to have the sentiments of the Republican Party who actually don't, so in a way this is actually unmasking those people," said Junkin. "I'm kind of at a loss as to why anyone, if they are truly Republican would not want to put an 'R' by their name and feel like it was a positive step."

Holding the primary will come with a $62,000 price tag for the county, a cost hard for some to swallow.

"This isn't a democratic issue or a Republican issue, it's a taxpayer issue with me," said Beckum.

Opponents of the measure are also questioning whether the Republican Executive Committee followed proper procedures to hold the primary.

Democrats in Maury County have opted not to hold one.

In 2010, 52 counties in Tennessee held local primaries.


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