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Baird makes interest in Secretary of State job public

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By Jennifer Caldwell

Just four months after the August elections Campbell County may find itself in familiar territory- without a mayor.

Newly elected County Mayor William Baird has made his intentions to throw his hat in the ring for Tennessee’s Secretary of State public.

If he gets the nod, the county commission may again be forced to appoint a replacement to carry out the late Jeff Hall’s unexpired term. This will be the second time this has occurred for Hall’s term.

According to Baird, while the timing is less than desirable the opportunity to be named secretary of state is something he feels he can’t pass up.

“Now that the Republicans have the majority in the General Assembly it is a prime opportunity for me to seek this position,” Baird said of the strong Republican majority Tennessee government has not seen in 140 years.

Baird said over the next two weeks applicants for the appointment will undergo a screening process that will result in the nomination of three candidates for the position.

“It’s a major process,” Baird said of the nominee selection procedures.

While Baird is excited about the prospect of another position in state government, he is adamant this was not an opportunity he anticipated prior to the election.

“I was perfectly happy to be here serving Campbell County. I had no idea that the Republicans were going to take power of the house and senate,” Baird said of the turn of events that prompted this latest endeavor.  “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Although Baird has made his intentions to seek the office secretary of state public, he says until a decision is made it will be business as usual in the mayor’s office.

A selection for the position will likely be made in early February, Baird said.