All in the Family


(Below) School board Vice Chairman Gary Ubben & Budget Chairman Bill Marcus (April 15, 2010 meeting)


                         Bill Marcus & Commissioner Nancy Marcus (school director Meet & Greet)  

    Are politics in Loudon County becoming a family business?

   By: Pat Hunter

One of the hottest contested county commission races in the May 4th Republican Primary is the Loudon District 1 Seat A commission race, which is held by 8 year incumbent Commissioner Nancy Marcus (Loudon County educator retiree).

Four years ago, Commissioner Nancy Marcus had one opponent in the Republican Primary and she won re-election but this time she faces stiff competition including challengers William Culvahouse (County Highway employee), Bryan Jenkins (Loudon City Police) and Kevin Walker.

At a recent TEA Party meeting, Commissioner Marcus spoke before the group. She shared information about her family and husband's profession but for some strange reason Commissioner Marcus forgot to mention that her husband Bill Marcus also serves as District 1 Seat A Loudon County Board of Education member and school board budget chairman. This husband and wife duo can make quite an impact on the local political scene.


Pictured below school Vice Chairman Gary Ubben & Budget Committee Chairman Bill Marcus (April 15, 2010 school board meeting)


District 5 Seat A, school Vice Chairman Gary Ubben and wife Candidate Sharon Yarbrough

                                                    (Feb. 8, 2010 joint commission-school board meeting)


Loudon County Commission 5th District Seat B is currently held by Commissioner Chris Park. Park is not seeking re-election. After Tuesday's Primary Election, the winner of the Republican Primary will advance to the August 5 County General Election where that person will face off with Pat Hunter, Independent candidate seeking 5th District Loudon County Commission Seat B. There are three candidates seeking this nomination in the Republican May 4th Primary. Ken Shockley a part time sheriff employee, Bart Howell an insurance agent and Sharon Yarbrough a school administrator. 

Recently, Candidate Sharon Yarbrough sent campaign literature seeking my family's vote in the 5th District County Commission Republican Seat B Primary race. Her campaign letter failed to mention her husband's name or his role in Loudon County government. Sharon Yarbrough is the wife of Loudon County Board of Education 5th District Seat A Vice Chairman Gary Ubben. Gary Ubben unseated incumbent Freddie Walker and rival Chris Clabough in the 5th District school board race in 2008.

The school budget is the largest component of the county budget and the school board is dependent on county commission for funding. Is funding a political issue to be solved with a strategy to get school board members to speak to individual commissioners and have conversations with them to influence their decisions? Are politics in Loudon County becoming a family business? We'll just have to wait and see but in the meantime, lets dispense with all the political double talk. It's time for voters to hear some straight talk from Commissioner Marcus and Candidate Yarbrough.