Rutherford Co. candidate still running after losing primary - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Rutherford Co. candidate still hopes to be elected even after losing primary

Matt Harvey is running for Rutherford County District 6 commissioner. Matt Harvey is running for Rutherford County District 6 commissioner.
MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

A local candidate who lost the Republican primary for Rutherford County District 6 commissioner is still hoping to be elected, even though his name won't appear on the ballot.

Incumbent Commissioner Joe Frank Jernigan won the primary over Murfreesboro police Officer Matt Harvey by less than 100 votes.

"When we lost by 74 votes, I thought it was done," Harvey said.

He even starting taking down campaign signs.

"More people came to me again saying, 'You can still do this, you can be a write-in, you can still make a difference, you can still make that change,'" Harvey said. "That's why I put my name back in as a write-in candidate."

Over the next two weeks, Harvey started sending out campaign mailers as a write-in candidate.

The mailers are critical of Jernigan.

One is asking voters, "Who would you rather vote for, a pillar of the community or an admitted thief and liar?" referring to the arrest of Jernigan after accusing him of stealing his campaign signs.

The homeowner whose yard the signs were in took photos of Jernigan removing them and putting them in a county-issued vehicle. Jernigan resigned his position with the Rutherford County Highway Department shortly after he was arrested.

"As far as the theft goes, we got him caught," Harvey said. "We've got pictures of him, we've got video, we've got signatures, we've got witnesses to show he was there doing what he was doing, and also doing it on the dime of the taxpayer."

The mailer even uses part of Jernigan's statement to officers about the incident.

"It's an excerpt from his statement to detectives that actually says, 'I put Matt Harvey signs in my trunk and drove off,'" Harvey said.

One mailer is also critical of Jernigan's voting record on taxes and the controversial mosque.

"I have all the proof to be able to make those accusations," the write-in candidate said.

Harvey's name won't appear on the ballot. If a person wants to vote for him, they will have to press the write-in button and physically type in his name.

"Getting them to the polls is one thing, but then getting them to the poll and remembering how to spell your name exactly right when you get to the ballot station is what makes it hard," he said.

Jernigan's court hearing in General Sessions Court on the sign theft charges has been moved until after the election, something Harvey doesn't agree with.

The county's policies don't address removal of sitting commissioners if they are arrested or accused of a crime, County Mayor Ernest Burgess told Channel 4 in a previous interview.

"I think everybody's just a little worried with the outcome pending and what might happen if he gets found guilty of the charge," Harvey said.

Harvey said he knows this write-in campaign is going to be an uphill battle. He said he was told the last time a write-in candidate won an election in Tennessee was back in the 1960s.

Channel 4 News reached out to Jernigan for comment on this story, but calls were not returned.

Early voting in Rutherford County begins Friday and continues through Aug. 2.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Rutherford Co. candidate still hopes to be elected even after losing primaryMore>>

  • More Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Guns for teachers debate escalates

    Guns for teachers debate escalates

    Friday, February 23 2018 9:22 PM EST2018-02-24 02:22:02 GMT
    (Source: Raycom)(Source: Raycom)
    (Source: Raycom)(Source: Raycom)

    The whole country seems to be on edge after the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. A number of proposals are already on the table to try and prevent another mass shooting from happening. Earlier in the week, President Trump suggested arming certain teachers and ending gun-free zones. Terry Johnson, President of the Calcasieu Federation of Teachers, said teachers shouldn't have to take on that kind of responsibility. "Let's leave that to the police," Johnson sai...

    More >>

    The whole country seems to be on edge after the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida. A number of proposals are already on the table to try and prevent another mass shooting from happening. Earlier in the week, President Trump suggested arming certain teachers and ending gun-free zones. Terry Johnson, President of the Calcasieu Federation of Teachers, said teachers shouldn't have to take on that kind of responsibility. "Let's leave that to the police," Johnson sai...

    More >>
  • Police urge residents not to leave firearms unattended in vehicles

    Police urge residents not to leave firearms unattended in vehicles

    Thursday, February 22 2018 12:13 PM EST2018-02-22 17:13:49 GMT
    (Source: Raycom)(Source: Raycom)
    (Source: Raycom)(Source: Raycom)

    Police are urging everyone to not leave firearms unattended in their vehicles. The Lake Charles Police Department stated that between Jan. 1, 2018 and Feb. 16, 2018 there have been a total of 27 vehicle burglaries where a firearm has been stolen. That means 27 firearms are in the hands of a thief that could possibly be resold or used to commit a violent crime. The police officers must then come into contact with these violent offenders and result in a possible armed confrontatio...

    More >>

    Police are urging everyone to not leave firearms unattended in their vehicles. The Lake Charles Police Department stated that between Jan. 1, 2018 and Feb. 16, 2018 there have been a total of 27 vehicle burglaries where a firearm has been stolen. That means 27 firearms are in the hands of a thief that could possibly be resold or used to commit a violent crime. The police officers must then come into contact with these violent offenders and result in a possible armed confrontatio...

    More >>
  • Authorities: Jennings man bites officer during arrest

    Authorities: Jennings man bites officer during arrest

    Friday, February 23 2018 6:58 PM EST2018-02-23 23:58:20 GMT
    Miles Hoffpauir (Source: Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Office)Miles Hoffpauir (Source: Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Office)
    Miles Hoffpauir (Source: Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Office)Miles Hoffpauir (Source: Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Office)

    A man bit an officer while the officer was trying to arrest him for fighting while intoxicated. Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Office was responding to a call at 3:30 a.m. on Sheridan Street in Iowa, Lake Charles about a drunken fight. Miles Hoffpauir, 34, entered the residence of his sister-in-law and was so intoxicated and belligerent that she called the cops.  When deputies arrived at the home, they struggled to handcuff Hoffpauir as he bit one deputy and fought with ...

    More >>

    A man bit an officer while the officer was trying to arrest him for fighting while intoxicated. Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff's Office was responding to a call at 3:30 a.m. on Sheridan Street in Iowa, Lake Charles about a drunken fight. Miles Hoffpauir, 34, entered the residence of his sister-in-law and was so intoxicated and belligerent that she called the cops.  When deputies arrived at the home, they struggled to handcuff Hoffpauir as he bit one deputy and fought with ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly