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Meet the Candidates: A Guide to the 2022 Local Election

The Cheatham County Primary and the 23rd Judicial District Election will take place on May 3, 2022.

Candidates were given the opportunity to submit a summary about themselves to The Post to give voters insight into their personal lives, their reason behind running for office, and their stance on certain subjects that are the foundation of their campaigns.

During this election, the following seats will be filled:

23rd Judicial District Offices: District Attorney General, Public Defender, Chancellor, Criminal Judge(s)

County Offices: County Mayor, Sheriff, County Clerk, County Trustee, Register of Deeds, County Commission (All Districts), General Sessions Judge, Circuit Court Clerk, Constable (All Districts), School Board (Districts 1, 4, 5)

To learn more about voting locations and important dates, click HERE.

Now, meet some of the candidates:

Judge Suzanne M. Lockert-Mash is running for Circuit Court Judge (Photo: Submitted)

Circuit Court Judge: Judge Suzanne M. Lockert-Mash

Circuit Court Judge Suzanne M. Lockert-Mash announces her candidacy for re-election to Circuit Court Judge, Div. 3, 23rd Judicial District: Cheatham, Dickson, Houston, Humphreys, & Stewart Counties. Elected Aug 2014, she has presided over criminal, civil, probate, & chancery cases throughout the district & presided over the Drug Court program which uses treatment & other resources to assist participants to be sober & productive citizens.

Judge Lockert-Mash practiced family law and criminal cases prior to joining the Dist. Atty’s Office. She was hired by former Dist. Atty General Kenneth Atkins as an Asst. Dist. Atty in 1990. Prosecuting in every county of the dist., she has handled numerous criminal cases: murder, child abuse, drug sales, death penalty, vehicular homicide, & robbery & many other types of criminal cases. She has tried well over 100 jury trials as a prosecutor and presided over numerous jury trials as a Circuit Judge & presided over Grand Jury cases in all 5 counties. As a prosecutor, she was a member of the judicial team that created the 23rd Judicial Dist. Drug Court program.

A life-long resident of the district, she has dedicated most of her adult life to public service: child abuse investigator & a state probation officer. She retired from the Dist. Atty’s Office when elected to the position of Circuit Court Judge, Div. 3. A graduate of Cheatham County High & UT- Knoxville, she obtained her law degree from the Nashville School of Law & completed the Supreme Court Approved Rule 31 Mediation Studies at David Lipscomb. She mentors law students who are studying at the Nashville School of Law.

The daughter of Elsa Lockert of Ashland City & the late Jimmy P Lockert, she is member of the Dover Church of Christ & married to Kenneth Mash.

“Being elected as a Circuit Judge was a great honor for me and a culmination of the hard work I have put in as an attorney in this district. I would like to continue my service to the citizens of this district.” – Judge Suzanne M. Lockert-Mash.

BJ Hudspeth is running for the third district seat of the county commission (Photo: Submitted)

County Commissioner, District 3: BJ Hudspeth

My name is BJ Hudspeth and I’m asking for your vote in the upcoming election for 3rd District County Commissioner.

I am a lifelong resident of Cheatham County and currently serve as the Director Chief of Cheatham County EMS. I’ve been employed by the county for 17 years. I’m married to my wonderful wife Jamie of 13 years, and we have three boys: Nick, Houston, and Jordan.

The current commission has done an outstanding job with making decisions in the best interest of the county government and the citizens of Cheatham County. Many have asked me why I’m running for commissioner. I have always had the desire to serve on the governing body in hopes that I can make a difference for our citizens. I have knowledge of the county commission procedures, budget processes, and committees. While I am a current county employee, I have to abstain from any votes when it pertains to budgetary items and salary money involving EMS- and I prefer it that way. I am a man of transparency, integrity, and honesty.

There have been many great commissioners serve the 3rd district, and I hope to be as knowledgeable and as great as they were and are currently. To the great candidates running for the 3rd district, good luck to you all and I know you have the best interest of the citizens as your number one priority just as I do.

Remember, vote BJ Hudspeth as your next 3rd District Commissioner. “ I will do what is right and support what is best!"

Rick Wilson is running for the District 3 commission seat (Photo: Submitted)

County Commissioner, District 3: Rick Wilson

I’m Rick Wilson, 3rd District County Commissioner Candidate.

I WILL NOT RAISE YOUR PROPERTY TAXES. Property taxes have always been a big issue with the residents of Cheatham County. Many are on fixed incomes and want to stay in their homes, or keep the land that has been in their families for years, if not century’s. Others are approaching the retirement age and are concerned about their future. Property taxes should only be raised after all other options have been thought through, and as the last resort. Lately, Commissioners have been passing property tax increases as their first and only solution. It only takes 7 out of 12 Commissioners to pass a tax increase. Have you ever been asked if it was okay to raise your property taxes? Your home / business is on land that you pay tax on. This payment will never go away. If something should happen, and you can’t pay, the County can take your property.

This is my 3rd time running for County Commissioner, and my message hasn’t changed. I’m still for slow moderate growth. We need to support our small businesses.

With the current growth, and eventually more to come, we need to think about a 24 hour paid firefighters. Calls are increasing, and so is the demand of our volunteers. With Technology evolving the way it has, our schools have benefitted from the sales tax from online shopping.

The County Commission is the Legislative body of government that distributes the tax dollars collected to the various county departments. The Commission adopts an annual County budget, sets the property tax rate, adopts ordinances and zoning changes. The County Commission has 12 elected officials, 2 from each of the 6 districts.

Local and County elections are just as important as the Federal, if not more. The people you vote for can, and will, make a direct impact in our county, good or bad. The County government should run on a balance budget from the tax revenue that is collected each year. If not, then maybe we don’t have the correct people running Cheatham County.

Chris Gilmore hopes to be reelected for Cheatham County Commissioner, District 3 (Photo: Submitted)

County Commissioner, District 3: Chris Gilmore

Hello, My name is Chris Gilmore. I am seeking re-election as your 3rd district county commissioner. I have been married for 26 years to Patrica and we have two daughters, Alizabeth and Caitlyn. Both are graduates of Sycamore High School. Cheatham County has been my home for over 45 years and we currently reside on Substation Road in Pleasant View. I began my working career delivering for Mr. Pure juice and then Pepsi Bottling Group for nearly 12 years. Then something led me down a different path, a path of service to my community, I decided to become a Police Officer. Working for Clarksville City Police Department for 7 years and Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office as the School Resource Supervisor for almost 10 years. Currently, I am employed with the TN Highway Safety Office as a Law Enforcement Liaison. I am a graduate of Bethel University with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice.

Cheatham County is a great community to live, work and raise a family. We need to be forward-thinking by preparing and planning for today, tomorrow, and 10-20 years from now as a whole. I know it isn’t easy to project what we will look like that far in advance; however, we can set the stage for proper growth and development. We must consider our infrastructure, how we can make changes now, and what will have the most impact on the future. We must also strive to maintain the assets we currently have in place. Our greatest asset is our county employees, the people who make our day-to-day activities in this county seamlessly flow. We need to provide a competitive market for them and not just meet the bare minimum of the State requirements.

Serving as your county commissioner has been a unique experience. I was told by someone very special to me that I should never waiver on my morals and Christian values for politics. I have not and will not do that as your commissioner. I am always a visit, phone call, text, or email away. Please never hesitate to reach out.

Derrick Hamilton is running for the 5th district seat of the county commission (Photo: Submitted)

Cheatham County Commissioner, District 5: Derrick Hamilton

Hello Cheatham County and all my district five members. First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Derrick Hamilton, and I am married to my wonderful wife of nineteen years, Chay Hamilton. We have two beautiful children, Lucas and Brooke, who are 14 and 16. They attend Harpeth Middle School and Harpeth High School. My wife and I moved to South Cheatham in 2005, and immediately fell in love with Cheatham County-especially Pegram. We knew this would be a perfect place to start our family.

I would love the opportunity to serve the people of Pegram, as my family and I are very passionate about America and its values. If elected, I will be a trustworthy and transparent holder of the county commissioner position.

While holding this position, my decisions will be made in the best interest of my fellow district five residents. I believe all elections can have consequences that start at a local level. It is time to hold a higher standard to who is being elected to office.

I would greatly appreciate you consider voting for me in the upcoming primary, held on May third. Thank you, sincerely.

Pam Jones is running for Cheatham County Mayor (Photo: Submitted)

Cheatham County Mayor: Pam Jones

My name is Pam Jones and I am running for county Mayor. I have been married for 43 years and have 2 grown children. A little about me: I've been a member FCE club where I've helping work at the Cheatham Co. fair in the exhibit hall for many years. I also have a leadership certificate from the UT extension and I've earned my associates in bookkeeping.

Cheatham County holds a special place in my heart and I want to see it excel. Our future depends on the choice voters make in our up coming county election for Mayor. There are many challenges our county faces such as budget and economic development projects that benefits property owners and small businesses. I want to be your next county mayor because I want to make a difference in our county that I love and cherish. I believe with a focused and committed Mayor Cheatham Co can be a place of opportunity for our next generation and families. It's time to start strengthening our public schools and investing in the education of our children.

A few other things that need to take place sooner rather than later should be balance the budget and be financially responsible as a county. I DO NOT support reckless spending, with rising interest rates and inflation the cost of running county government will only increase. If I am voted Mayor I would like to freeze property tax for seniors, bring the YMCA to Cheatham Co and improve existing and new venues for outdoor activities to be enjoyed by all ages. Those are a few things I have planned to help make Cheatham Co better. If I become Mayor my door will always be open to our community and I will be happy to help anyone in our beloved County.

Ella Taylor is running for the District Two Commission seat (Photo: Submitted)

County Commissioner, District 2: Ella Taylor

Ella Taylor, Republican candidate, Cheatham County District 2 Commission: I grew up a Hatfield from Mingo County, WV until 2001 when I moved to Ashland City, and Married Jeff Taylor, a native of this town we all call home. He served 22 years in the Army NG Ashland City unit with a deployment in 2004. We have 3 children the oldest Raeanna Varney, who is Co-owner of Sweet Rae’s of Sunshine; Jeffery Taylor, who serves as a mailman for Ashland City; and my youngest is Gracie Taylor who is a student at CCCHS. I also have 2 granddaughters. I’ve been a Nurse for 21 years with 3 years of employment at the VA in Nashville and 10 years at Vanderbilt, A short contract employment of Cheatham co. Jail as the nurse for 1 year, in 2015 the opportunity to work from home full time for Evicore Healthcare as Nurse Reviewer, which I’m currently still employed.

During my time at the Jail, I saw first-hand of how tax dollars are spent and how the current system works. I’m not politician, but I want to see change in the old corrupt way of thinking. It’s time to move into a positive change with a new way of thinking in this county.

The Commission decides how OUR tax dollars are spent, they vote on the budget for many county department’s including the BOE, Sheriff/ Jail, Highway dept. and they manage several boards in the county such as building, zoning and the beer permits to name a few. We are called by scripture to be good stewards of money, and this I think is extremely important in local government. These roles were designed to be a Civic duty/opportunity to serve at the discretion of the people, not to become a career politician, or to just allow special interest to be protected. I will always be ready to hear the concerns of the citizens of district 2 and address them with the higher ups if necessary.

I’ve never been afraid to speak my mind, allow me to be your voice of change the next 4 years.

Jack Sanders Jr. is running for constable of the second district (Photo: Submitted)

Constable, District 2: Jack H. Sanders Jr.

My name is Jack H. Sanders Jr. I am running for the 2nd district constable seat. I have lived 90% of my life here in the 2nd district of Cheatham County. For over 20 years I have served Cheatham County, and Montgomery County here in Tennessee as well as the city of Geneva Alabama as a firefighter.

Over the last few years some injuries has made me stop serving my community as a firefighter. But the door has been opened for me to serve as a constable. I am asking the people of the 2nd district of Cheatham County for their support and vote in this election. My family has a long history here in Cheatham County as firefighters, police officers, and constables. I just want to continue in my family’s legacy. So please come out and support me on May 3, 2022 and if God willing on August 4, 2022.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Matthew Duncan is running for the school board (Photo: Submitted)

Cheatham County School Board, 4th District: Matthew Duncan For the past 19 years, my wife and I have been local business owners and entrepreneurs serving all of Middle Tennessee in the Disaster Restoration and Construction Industry. My wife and I along with our three children attend Bethel Free Will Baptist Church and have called Cheatham County home for the past 14 years. As students returned to school last year I began attending school board meetings and workshops to better familiarize myself with many of our current challenges and challenges that lie ahead. I intended to learn firsthand how our School Board handles these and many other issues within our school system. Career & Technical Education- There is not a one path answer for every student. We need an innovative strategy for success. If elected I will work to continue the progress we have made in trades education to create recruiting programs with local trade industries for job placement after high school. Some of the highest paying jobs today and in the next 10 years in Middle Tennessee will be in the industry of skilled trades. Educator Recruitment & Retention- improvements made to how we recruit and retain our teachers in our school district. Competitive pay and healthcare benefits are just a couple of the many topics we should study very closely and often. District Growth & Building New Schools-I will work to navigate the challenges of building new schools as well as facilities maintenance to maintain our educational infrastructure. From exploratory impact studies to site development, Budgets and Construction. I have navigated many of these challenges in my career over the last 20 years. A good board member advocates for children first in education. We must center our students in every decision we make. School Board members should hold themselves accountable to the community and be a good steward of their district's voice and concerns, someone who is hard-working and a problem solver that actively listens to all sides. I am confident that I will bring value to our school board and district, and I am asking for your vote on May 3rd, and the opportunity to serve.

Chrissy (Duke) Henderson is running for the position of register of deeds (Photo: Submitted)

Cheatham County Register of Deeds: Chrissy (Duke) Henderson

My name is Chrissy (Duke) Henderson. I am running for Cheatham County Register of Deeds. I have lived in Cheatham County since I was two. I graduated from Cheatham County Central High School in 1984. I have been happily married for 29 years. We have three adult children. My husband and I are members of Sycamore Chapel Church of Christ. I worked for over twenty years as a Legal Administrative Assistant for a Nashville law firm. I worked my way into a paralegal position with the same firm. I assisted in drafting various types of real estate documents and understanding their intent and purpose. Fast forwarding to 2014, I began working for the Cheatham County Register of Deeds office. I was a large part of implementing the current electronic recording system. Documents can be submitted, recorded and returned to sender, all electronically. I was involved in the process of having all old deeds digitized from as far back as 1856. Having the historic deeds converted to digital form was a large undertaking and is an undeniable improvement to the Register's office. I was also an instrumental part of moving the entire Register of Deeds office from the Tucker/Empson Building to Sycamore Place. While some may not understand what the Register of Deeds office does, one thing clearly understandable, is that being a property owner is one of the greatest assets one can have. These milestones and experiences with the Register of Deeds office is woven into who I am. I have the full support of the current administration. I enjoy helping and working with the public. I would be honored and I am passionate about being elected the next Register of Deeds. I have firsthand, interoffice knowledge and experience to efficiently maintain and protect the very documents that become a part of Cheatham County history. I am the only Register of Deeds candidate with on-the-job experience. I will not require additional training and I can hit the ground running IMMEDIATELY after the election. I respectfully ask for your vote on May 3 and August 4. Thank you. God Bless!

Dan Cook is running for general sessions judge (Photo: Submitted)

Judge of General Sessions: Dan Cook

My life started in Cheatham County back in the day as a ADAG with WB Lockert working in 5 Counties. Later, I retired from the DA office in 1990 and bought my own building across from the Courthouse, and I have served several thousands of clients. From car wrecks, to death cases, and such. I was selected to the FBI Academy and I also taught at our Law Enforcement academies here in Tennessee.

As a Prosecutor I had to deal with murderers and the jury and I would send those to death row. During those days, the FBI found that there was a contract on my life and the same on a Police Chief. It was from the Dixie Mafia.

My family was a full Military family, I entered the Army with my selective service card and started in Ft Polk Louisiana as a private. My Dad was WWII Navy, deceased, and his brother was Uncle Boots we called him cause in the Army WWII deceased, later. My oldest brother was in the Air Force flying jets during the Vietnam era and he died one Christmas midnight. I came through the Military and still a Retired Reserve Colonel. I served in Germany and came back I was a a Lieutenant , Infantry officer, then Armor Officer and then a Judge Advocate General , and was tasked with Military Judge. I also practiced in the United States Court of Military Appeals, and also on the United States Army Court of Military Review.

I am still able to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

I’m also able to practice in our Tennessee Supreme Court and have done that.

I am also a member of the United States Court of Appeals for the sixth circuit.

You are welcome to my office and see all the documents.

When Desert Shield came up, the called be from my office and I was sent to the Pentagon, put my boots on and went. Later I was sent again for Desert Storm. My paralegal ran the train by her self.

I am a Conservative Republican and I will help our County as being our Judge of General Sessions and Juvenile Court. If I am Judge Cook for both Courts , I will serve with Accountability and Compassion. Our County is seeing serious criminals and drugs coming in. I can handle that. God Bless Cheatham County!

Cindy Binkley Perry is running for Cheatham County Trustee (Photo: Submitted)

Cheatham County Trustee: Cindy Binkley Perry

My name is Cindy Binkley Perry and I am running for Cheatham County Trustee! I have lived in Cheatham County my whole life. I have been married to Michael Perry Jr (Little Bones) for 28 years and we have one daughter. We purchased a portion of my Great Uncle’s farm in our early twenties, where we built our home and started our family. We are charter members of Liberty Baptist Church in Pleasant View.

After graduating from Cheatham County Central High School, I started my career working for Cigna-Medicare. I worked in several departments, but spent the most time in Customer Service before getting a new position in the Electronic Data Interchange department. I worked with Medicare insureds helping them understand their claims and coverage details. In addition, I also worked with doctors and their staff to educate them on guidelines from the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). Once in the EDI department, I traveled throughout Tennessee and Idaho performing large group presentations to market and educate physicians and their staff about the electronic submission of medical claims.

After having my daughter, I briefly worked for a large medical practice in Nashville. I audited their patient files and reimbursed patients who had been mistakenly overcharged. In 1999, I went to work for my current employer. I have worked as their Controller for over 22 years. My employer is a multi-state, multi-million dollar construction business. As a Controller, I am responsible for running and managing the business in all its financial and accounting processes. I work directly with the owners as well as the banking institutions, bonding companies, auditors, CPA’s, attorney’s, Secretary of State, Department of Revenue, Department of Employment Security, and Internal Revenue Service. The construction industry has provided me a great opportunity to work with many federal, state and local government agencies, and businesses all over the United States.

Lastly, in 2018 my family started our own trucking and excavating business where I am also the Controller.

I deeply love this county and will work hard for business owners, and both life long and new residents of our wonderful Cheatham County!

Tim Williamson hopes to be reelected as Cheatham County Commissioner (Photo: Submitted)

County Commissioner, District 2: Tim Williamson

Residents of Cheatham County, I am Tim Williamson, and I am asking for your vote for the Cheatham County Commission for the 2nd district. I have lived in Cheatham County for 34 years and during this time I was involved in the East Cheatham Athletic Association for 18 years. In 2008, I was elected to the Cheatham County School Board and was re-elected to that position in 2012. In 2014, I was elected to the Cheatham County Commission to represent the 2nd district and again in 2018. I am currently in the Vice Chair position on the commission as well as the chairman of the of the education committee. I also am a member of the budget committee as well as on the jail committee.

With my experience in these positions, I feel that I could continue to represent the 2nd district and work with my community to address needs and concerns. Through phone conversations as well as emails, I continue to make myself accessible to discuss concerns and questions. I welcome my community to reach out to me for any information or questions that effect our district. If I am unable to directly respond, I will reach out to any other departments or constituents to respond with accurate and helpful information.

I can be reached by phone 615-708-7861 as well as email

Once again, I am asking for your support on May 3rd 2022. Let’s continue to work together to keep Cheatham County a great place to live.

Abby Short is running for county clerk (Photo: Submitted)

Cheatham County Clerk: Abby Short

My name is Abby Short, I am running for Cheatham County Clerk. I am a lifelong resident of Cheatham County. I am married to Justin Short and we have two kids. We are active members of Good Springs Free Will Baptist Church in Pleasant View.

I have worked for the County Clerk’s Office for 16 years. I was appointed Chief Deputy when Teresa Gupton was elected County Clerk in 2010. I have served in that capacity for the last 12 years. Ms. Gupton has been training and mentoring me for that time. I have attended countless County Clerk Association meetings and County Officials of Tennessee Meetings and have been able to create an unsurpassed network of support.

I am a Certified Public Administrator through the University of Tennessee CTAS. I hold a County Administrative Professional Certificate and I am a graduate of Leadership Cheatham County. I currently serve as Treasurer on the Leadership Cheatham County Board.

I have a passion to serve this community and truly feel the Lord has led me to this position. I would appreciate your vote and support. I humbly ask for your vote Abby Short for Cheatham County Clerk.

Gary Binkley is running for the county commission's fourth district (Photo: Submitted)

County Commissioner, District 4: Gary Binkley

I write today to announce my candidacy for 4th District County Commissioner. My decision to seek this position was made after much thought and discussion with family, friends and business leaders. I have the education, work history and community involvement which qualifies me for this leadership role.

My community involvement over the last 32 years includes youth sport coach, Ashland City parks and recreation board member, Commissioner of baseball and junior pro football, Chairman of the National Youth Sports Coaches Association, Ashland City Lions, Kiwanis and Civitan Clubs, Graduate of Leadership Cheatham County, Cheatham County Fair Board, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Cheatham County, Workforce Essentials Board of Directors, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Industrial Development Board, Ashland City/Cheatham County Port Authority, organized and served as Chairman of the Cheatham County Republican party, and I was elected to the Cheatham County Commission where I served on the Education, Calendar Rules and Nominating, Road and Bridge, Capital Improvements and Agriculture committees to represent the 4th district from 1998 to 2002. Currently, I serve as 1st district county commissioner for the last 8 years. Now the redistricting committee of Cheatham County has moved my neighborhood back into the 4th district to balance out the 6 districts population so that each district has approximately the same amount of citizens.

As your commissioner I will work to continue building relationships with all county departments so that if any citizen requires assistance from a county department I will be able to help resolve that issue for them. I believe that government should work for the people not the people work for government that’s why I continually vote against property tax increases and support a balance budget that lives within its means. I support a quality education for our children, I support police, fire, and ambulance departments, quality roads and bridges, and I support top notch community parks for our families.

I am a hard worker with common sense, very conservative, semi-retired with the time to serve the citizens of the 4th district and Cheatham County. I would greatly appreciate your vote!!

Holly Waller is running for circuit court clerk (Photo: Submitted)

Circuit Court: Clerk Holly Waller

Holly Waller has announced her candidacy for Circuit Court Clerk. She is Senior Deputy Clerk and Jury Coordinator in the Circuit Court Clerk’s office. Holly is endorsed by the current Circuit Court Clerk, Julie Hibbs, and has been training under her supervision since 2015. Holly is the only candidate with the knowledge and experience of legal matters to lead this office and ensure a seamless transition for our judges, court officials, and the public.

As Senior Deputy Clerk, Holly has been cross trained in all operations of the office as well as Circuit, General Sessions, and Juvenile Courts. She is well versed in law and legal matters pertaining to civil, criminal, juvenile, and child support issues. Holly assists the Clerk in preparing, processing, and recording all actions of the courts.

As the Jury Coordinator, Holly has the experience needed to qualify the grand jury and trial jurors and is knowledgeable in laws pertaining to jury service. She also understands appellate procedures and is responsible for preparing technical records to the Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, and Court of Appeals.

Holly has helped lead Cheatham County to be one of the first in the 23rd Judicial District to have online court records. The existing online payment system is being updated and court dockets will be accessible online in the near future. This has all been implemented without using tax-payer dollars.

As a lifelong Cheatham County resident, Holly graduated from Sycamore. She received her B.B.A. degree from Trevecca. She resides in the East Cheatham community with her husband, Dustin, and their boys, Eli and Samuel. She is a member of New Hope FWB Church and has spent many years coaching youth basketball in the community.

“I love serving the people of Cheatham County. The nature of the business we handle is delicate at times, and under my leadership this office will continue to be compassionate, meticulous, and professional in how we manage all matters of our judicial system. After 24 years, Julie Hibbs is leaving a legacy. I am committed to building on that legacy as we move into the future.”

Shelly Gupton is running for circuit court clerk (Photo: Submitted)

Circuit Court: Clerk Shelly Gupton

Shelly Gupton is a candidate for Cheatham County’s Circuit Court Clerk. Shelly is a lifelong resident of Cheatham County. She lives in the 4th District. Shelly has made her mark as a standout community member through being a Sunday School teacher at Bethel Free Will Baptist Church, a basketball coach, a school bus driver, and an overdose prevention specialist. Currently, she is over discipline for Cheatham County School District’s Transportation Department.

Through all of the positions she has held, Shelly has demonstrated her strong leadership qualities and has never shied away from the aspect of change. Through her originality and passion for everything she embarks on, she consistently improves herself and her surroundings with her.

When the opportunity of the Circuit Court Clerk’s seat was made known, Shelly began researching the office, including the day to day operations, the advancement made in the past 10 years, and the training available for newly elected officials. Regardless of if you have experience or not, the state, through County Technical Assistance Service (CTAS), provides all elected officials assistance and training related to county government. According to the CTAS Clerks of Court Printable Manual, Reference Number CTAS-76, “The office of clerks of court does not carry any qualifications beyond the general qualifications for county offices.” Shelly far exceeds the general qualifications.

Shelly has not worked under the current administration, therefore she brings fresh, unmolded perspective to the table. Following duties and regulations and handling sensitive information is something Shelly does every day with the school district. She has consulted with other circuit court clerks in the state, and has multiple ideas and updates she would love to bring into her own county’s system. Many of her ideas are gaining traction before voting begins. Bringing court records and transactions onto an easily accessible online platform, connecting other county offices’ filing systems, and maintaining a welcoming environment to the public, law enforcement officers, and law practitioners daily are only three ideas she’s already shared.

Shelly looks forward to the opportunity to bring her fresh perspective and fierce leadership into the office, following the May 3rd Primaries.

Kerry McCarver hopes to remain mayor of Cheatham County (Photo: Submitted)

Cheatham County Mayor: Kerry McCarver

I have been Cheatham County’s Mayor since 2017. Before that, I was Pleasant View’s Mayor for eight years.

I was raised in Cheap Hill. I graduated from Cheatham High. I have been married 30 years to Debby Dean. We have four grown children and five grandchildren.

During my term, we brought over 500 good paying jobs back to our industrial park. We have relocated the county road and school bus garages out of the floodway.

We have invested millions of dollars to support the schools’ maintenance, buses, computers, playgrounds, and books.

The solid waste offices, scales, and several of the convenience centers have been upgraded. We have expanded recycling across the county.

Our animal control posts a 98% save rate. Last year we handled over 1,100 animals.

During my term, the county acquired Sycamore Square—102,000 sq. ft of office and retail space. The value of the center is well over $25 million, a great return on the county’s investment.

The Tucker Empson Building was remodeled as the new home for the Sheriff’s office. The cost was covered in a million-dollar grant from the State of Tennessee.

Later this year, we will break ground on a 200-bed expansion of the jail. The project includes additional courtrooms and E-911 center. Through judicious stewarding of the county’s money, we will have an $11 million down payment.

Our quality of life depends on being safe and secure in our homes. Public safety is our top priority—on our streets, in our parks, in our schools and churches.

We were able to do all this and more while dealing with a worldwide pandemic. And we have done all this in the last two years without a property tax increase.

Cheatham County is the best place to raise a family and enjoy life to its fullest. Let’s keep it that way. I ask for your vote and support to keep working for you and your family.

Tim Binkley is running for Cheatham County Sheriff (Photo: Submitted)

Cheatham County Sheriff: Tim Binkley

I’m Tim Binkley, candidate to be your next sheriff. I am a lifelong resident of Cheatham County. My wife, Penny, and I recently celebrated our 40th anniversary. We have 1 daughter and 2 grandsons who are also residents of Cheatham County. Like most of you, I have a vested interest in the safety and future of our county.

I have proudly served the CCSD for 32 years. I have served in many roles including Chief Deputy under the past 3 sheriffs. Over the years, I have seen many changes within our county. I want to briefly discuss with you my plan over the next 4 years for a few of the most pressing issues effecting our county.

First and foremost, I want to address the drug epidemic which has plagued our rural county. The war on drugs is out of control. Drug use and addiction has disproportionately stricken Cheatham County. The number of citizens effected by drugs increases daily, with nearly 1 overdose reported every day in our county. Many of these resulting in death, and all of them effecting our friends, family, and neighbors. Our department has plans to prosecute these deadly drug dealers to the fullest extent possible. Bringing 2nd degree murder charges to those responsible for overdoses resulting in death is our goal.

For survivors, we want to offer convenient, easily accessible hope and rehabilitation to those who want help and a way out of this deadly cycle. We have recently partnered with a recovery center willing to offer treatment free of charge to those wishing to participate. We hope to continue to build working relationships with such facilities. ONE OVERDOSE DEATH IS TOO MANY! By conquering the out-of-control drug issue in our county, we in turn improve the safety of all citizens.

Second issue is over-crowding of our current jail. Overcrowding has been a problem for years, and this problem will only get worse as we bring more criminals and drug dealers to justice. I’m excited to announce groundbreaking of our new jail will be in the very near future. Once this new facility is complete, I plan to offer every inmate access to a recovery program. I have partnered with numerous individuals and organizations who are determined to win this war on drugs in our county. A few of my partners include: local drug coalition, Alcoholics Anonymous, local attorneys, Cheatham County Department of Education, GED Program, District Attorney, Public Defender, Judges of Drug Court, and many more.

Joining forces is necessary, and we are determined to ensure the safety of our children, the future of this county, is protected.

Thank you for your continued support of the Cheatham County Sheriffs Department. I encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote in the Primary Election on May 3rd and again in the General Election on August 4th. Although I am running unopposed, I want your vote for me to be one of confidence and hope for the safety and security of Cheatham County.

Thank you


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