By Ron Gregory
WILLIAMSON – Mingo County’s appointed county commissioner Mike Carter said he was turning in his courthouse keys last week.
Carter, who officially left the commission on July 31, said he had been out of town since the resignation.
“I’m going to get caught up and find (Commission President Greg) “Hootie” (Smith) to give him my keys,” he said.
Carter’s tenure on the commission was short. He resigned from a seat on the Mingo County Board of Education to accept appointment to the commission seat formerly occupied by David Baisden. Baisden resigned as part of a federal plea agreement involving corruption in Mingo County and is now serving a prison term for his role in criminal activitiy in Mingo County.
Carter then sought election to Baisden’s unexpired term but was defeated in the Democrat primary by County Clerk “Big Jim” Hatfield.
Carter said he learned of Hatfield’s withdrawal from the race while in Tennessee. Citing health concerns, Hatfield withdrew from the commission race but intends to remain as Mingo County clerk.
The state Elections Commission refused to acknowledge Hatfield’s reasons for withdrawing as “extenuating personal circumstances.” That means there are no Democrat or Republican candidates for commission on the November ballot. Two filed using the petition method in time to be listed, but not as representatives of major parties. Diann Hannah and Bill Duty will appear on the November ballot as unaffiliated with either Democrats or Republicans.
Carter said when he heard, while in Tennessee, that Hatfield had withdrawn, “I figured that meant I would be placed on the ballot since I ran second, but I found out that was not the case.” Carter said his only recourse now would be to run as a write-in candidate.
“That’s just not feasible,” he said.
Carter said he has “enjoyed serving the people.” He said he made “every decision with God’s direction.” He said he hopes to continue to serve the public in various ways.
Carter said he will now concentrate on his “volunteer work.” Among other things, Carter works with church groups to build and update housing for low-income individuals and families. “We’re working on a new little house for a little boy at Vulcan who has cancer,” said Carter. “It is such rewarding work.”