Despite word that incumbent Matthew Hill, Bob Patton, Todd Smith, Fred Phillips, and newcomer D. Michael Williams have all picked up papers to enter the race for the Seventh District State House seat, Hill is still the only candidate on the ballot.

With the April 3 deadline fast approaching, Hill is the only candidate to have turned in papers to the election commission. With his papers already certified, Hill’s name will be appearing on the primary ballot.

Williams has, according to the election commission, petitioned to withdraw his papers from the Republican ticket, and has now picked up papers to run as an Independent. These papers are, too, still MIA.

Smith is holding a Jonesborough fundraiser this week, despite the fact that his name, as of today, will not be on the ballot. What I find interesting about Smith’s fundraiser is that the JC Press listed it as sponsored by Toby Bledsoe (a Jonesborough Democrat) and catered by Red Pig Barbecue (whose owner is a prominent Johnson City Democrat). Funny that a couple of Democrats would take such an interest in a “Republican” candidate.

Anywho, 9 1/2 days to get those papers in, boys, and then we’ll have ourselves a race!

In other state election news, I’ve gotten word that Sixth District representative, Dale Ford, will also have a little competition this year. Local Real Estate Agent, Lee Sowers, who ran in the Sixth District in 2006, will be running again this year.