Bradley County government looks forward after Election Day
BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — Bradley County now has the final tally on a local election laced in controversy, and the voters chose a new look for multiple races.
The political landscape has changed in Bradley County, as voters opted for newer, older faces to replace those who have been threaded in controversy.
Incumbent Sheriff Eric Watson has clashed with some local elected officials over questionable practices during his administration.
Both the embattled sheriff and County Commissioner Dan Rawls have been uprooted from their positions.
“Well, I think that a lot of folks were tired of the controversy. Hopefully, we can pick up the pieces and move on and continue to have Bradley County grow and everything that it should,” Bradley County Commission Chairman Louie Alford said.
The Bradley County Commission will see four new commissioners in the next term.
“It’s not an unusual thing to have a commission turnover, so I don’t think it will hurt Bradley County because I still think we have some awful good commissioners coming back, and like, I say we’ve got some really fine people coming in. So, I think we’ll have a really nice strong commission over the next four years,” Alford said.
Bradley County Mayor Gary Davis hopes these changes will can put the controversy and contention in the past.
“Hopefully now, the commission and the sheriff and everyone else will begin anew and start working together better,” Davis said.
Despite losing the District 6 race, commissioner Rawls shared a similar sentiment.
“Hopefully, there is some changes because the level of corruption that has existed here. And we hope that that starts to clear some of that situation out,” Rawls said.
Sheriff-elect Steve Lawson says he wants to move forward from the dissention and focus on improving the sheriff’s department.
“I want to leave that behind, and the campaign’s over, and move ahead as to what I’m going to do in the sheriff’s office, and we want to make it better over the years, and set plans and goals for over the years to come,” Lawson said.
According to Mayor Davis, the key now is coming together as a united government.
“We have a lot going on, and it’s nearly all good. Bradley County is moving right along fine. We just need to work together, and do everything we can to keep it moving forward and make it even better in any way that we can,” Davis said.