Mercer Co. Sheriff

PRINCETON — The Democratic candidate who had filed to run for Mercer County Sheriff has withdrawn from the race.

According to the Mercer County Registrar’s Office, William Gearhart withdrew from the race on Tuesday after deciding not to run for office.

On the official Secretary of State election website, Sheriff Tommy Bailey, a Republican, is now running unopposed. Bailey, a former deputy, was elected in 2016.

“I want to keep building on what my chief deputy (Joe Parks) and I have done in my first term,” he said when he filed to run for reelection. “We have brought the sheriff’s office up to date. We are working on getting body cameras for all of the deputies and I still want to have substations out in the county.”

Bailey said he is also looking to hire more deputies.

The primary is set for May 12 and the general election will be held on Nov. 3.

Local offices on the Republican primary ballot on May 12 will be prosecuting attorney and 27th House District.

Incumbent Prosecutor George Sitler is being challenged for the Republican nomination by Brian Cochran. There is no Democratic contender in that race so the winner of the primary will run unopposed in November.

In the 27th House race, five Republicans will be vying for the nomination to run for the three seats up for grabs: Incumbents Dr. Joe Ellington and Eric Porterfield, former Del. Marty Gearheart, Jeremiah Nelson and Doug Smith.

Tina Russell is the lone Democrat running for a seat in the 27th District so she will be on the November ballot.

Only Republicans or independents can cast a vote on the Republican ballots.

Contact Charles Boothe at

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