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VOL. 42 | NO. 26 | Friday, June 29, 2018

Hamilton election commission signs off on new GOP candidate

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CHATTANOOGA (AP) — Hamilton County election commissioners have signed off on a Republican candidate to replace state Rep. Gerald McCormick, who recently withdrew from the August primary for his seat.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports that commissioners on Monday agreed to add Robin Smith to the GOP primary ballot, triggering objections from the Tennessee Democratic Party.

The Democrats' attorney said the substitution isn't allowed under rules for replacing a qualified candidate who drops out. If they were to win that argument in court, the Aug. 2 ballot would include no Republican candidate in House District 26.

Elections Administrator Kerry Steelman said McCormick's withdrawal fit the guidelines for reopening qualifications.

McCormick withdrew from the race last month, saying he had taken a job that required him to move to Nashville.