A Henry County man seeking to run as an independent candidate in November’s race for Henry County Mayor was disqualified Monday because he didn’t meet a state age requirement.
Shawn Poole, who had turned in paperwork to run in the Nov. 3 election for Henry County Mayor, was disqualified by a vote of the Henry County Election Commission during its Monday’s meeting.
Commission members Steve Goggans, Sylvia Humphreys, Lorri Dalton and Bennie Akers voted in favor of the disqualification, which was recommended by DeLaina Green, administrator of election. Tommy Townsend, another commission member, was absent.
Poole, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, is 22 years old. According to Tennessee law, the minimum age requirement to serve as county mayor is 25.
During citizens comments, Poole objected to the state law, arguing the initial intention of the founding fathers was to set age requirements for the U.S. House of Representatives at 21.
The Federal Constitutional Convention changed the requirement to 25 prior to the adoption of the Constitution.
He also argued it was denying choice to the voters who had signed his petition — at least one of whom had voted during the Sept. 5 Henry County Republican Caucus.
“So if people who in that Republican Party are voting for me, people who are older who say they will vote for me, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be a candidate, because you’re saying their voice doesn’t matter, and that’s not how it works in the United States, and that would be very wrong of you,” Poole said.
Poole later confirmed outside of the meeting that he intended to contact an attorney to consider his options.
In a related action, the board approved all of the remaining candidates for county and municipal elections, including three candidates for county mayor and two candidates for sheriff.
Those candidates were listed in Thursday’s paper.
Both candidates for sheriff had met their Peace Officers Standards and Training certification requirement, Green said.
In other business, the board:
• Set hours for early voting for the Nov. 3 election.
Early voting will take place from Oct. 14-29 on all days except Sunday.
Voting will take place from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 14 and Oct. 29, and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on each of the remaining days, including Saturdays.
• Approved poll workers and machine technicians.
Democratic machine technician Mark Duncan and Republican technician Don Hodge, both of whom had worked during the Aug. 6 election, will return for the Nov. 3 election.
• Sealed ballot boxes for the Nov. 6 election.