Photo: May 26 2021 – Hamilton County Commission Recessed and Agenda Meeting
Photo Credit: HamiltonCountyTN / YouTube
Published May 27, 2021
The Tennessee Conservative Staff –
Hamilton County, TN – During the Hamilton County Commission’s Recessed and Agenda Meeting yesterday, Chairman Baker made the announcement that the Commission intends to appoint an interim replacement for State Representative Mike Carter who passed away on May 15th.
Chairman Chip Baker stated that Carter’s replacement will be determined by a special election of the voters of the 29th District, which is expected to be called soon by Governor Lee.
However, the law does permit the Hamilton County Commission to appoint an individual to serve as the interim representative for the 29th legislative district until the winner of the special election is sworn in.
“The election will most likely be held before the Fall. Whoever is elected will serve in that capacity until the winner of the November 2022 state general election is sworn into office,” Baker said.
Baker said, “Unless there is an objection from this body, it is the Chair’s intention for this body to appoint an interim representative for the 29th legislative district at the Commission’s June 9th recessed meeting. I would ask the County Clerk to immediately have a public notice placed in the local newspapers in order to give the general public the required minimum of 7 days-notice of this Commission’s intent to so appoint that interim representative.”
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Baker acknowledged that the Tennessee General Assembly has concluded its business for this calendar year but stated that there is speculation that the Governor may call the legislature back to Nashville for a special session prior to the legislature reconvening in January 2022 due to some COVID matters that still need to be addressed.
“Just in case a special session is called, prior to the special election being held, I hope that members of this body will agree with me that someone should be authorized and available to represent the citizens of the 29th legislative district. That is the reason for my suggestion, that this body proceed to appoint an individual to serve as the interim,” Baker said.
Baker asked the Commission to be considering individuals whom they feel will best represent the citizens of the 29th District and to be prepared to present their respective names to the Commission for consideration of appointment at the June 9th recessed meeting.
Chairman Baker then opened the floor for feedback.
District 7 Commissioner Sabrena Smedley said, “I’m going to recommend that we appoint Joan Carter (Mike Carter’s widow) to serve as the interim until the special election is held and she has agreed.”
District 3 Commissioner Greg Martin stated, “Mr. Baker, I appreciate what you’re trying to do. I really do. Thank you for doing that. This is kind of hitting me fresh this morning. I think it would be more appropriate for us to get past June 2nd and our appointment for the County Commission seat and have the opportunity to see where the legislature is, if the Governor is going to call someone, if there’s a need for this. I’d rather, instead of doing it in a rushed situation, I’d rather have conversation about it. So, I would object.”
Chairman Baker replied to Martin, “That’s fine. We do have two weeks to discuss it.”
Baker asked if there were any more objections and with none being raised, he requested that the clerk proceed to put a notice in local newspapers advising the public the intentions of the Commission to appoint an individual to fill the vacancy of Carter in the interim.
Baker also stated that the interim candidate will be appointed to the position based on vote of the Commissioners at the meeting.