The 2014 race for county mayor, sheriff and four other offices will start out with either party primaries offered to all voters or caucuses where a limited number will decide the nominees. To help the county save money during tough economic times in 2010, the Republican and Democratic parties agreed to hold caucuses for mayor, sheriff, trustee, county clerk, register of deeds and Circuit Court clerk. The cost for a countywide primary that would be May 6, 2014, will come to an estimated $110,000 to cover poll workers and voter machine expenses, said Nicole Lester, the administrator who oversees the full-time staff for the Rutherford County Election Commission.
“It’s up to the parties whether they choose to hold a caucus or a primary,” Lester said. “They let us know what their choice is, and we abide by that. It’s totally up to the parties. We just do what they ask us to do.”
In 2012, the local parties chose to hold primaries for two county offices, road superintendent and property assessor, but there was no cost to the county because these races coincided with state-funded presidential preference primary.