A race between Larry Henry and Mike Evatt for Circuit Court clerk pits two local political heavyweights - and family - against one another.
Both County Commission Chairman Henry and School Board Chairman Evatt say the family situation and a past family lawsuit are not factors in both deciding to run for the same county office.
They are kin in that Mr. Henry's half-sister, Bobbie, is the step-mother of Mr. Evatt. In other words, Mr. Henry is the step-uncle of Mr. Evatt.
And at one time, Mr. Henry filed a lawsuit in Chancery Court against Bobbie, who was married to Mike Evatt's father, the late Sheriff H.Q. Evatt. It was also filed against his (Larry Henry's) older brother. Mr. Henry said the lawsuit was quickly settled in his favor, assuring that his children continue to benefit from a family trust.
Mr. Evatt said the lawsuit and any prior family disputes were never a factor in his deciding to make the race.
He said, "As soon as Paula Thompson said she was not going to run again, I began getting encouragement to run. It was later when I heard that Larry was interested."
He stated, "I decided to run because I want to continue to serve in a different capacity. I have handled multi-million-dollar budgets, and I know how to talk to people and work with people."
Mr. Evatt said of the lawsuit, "I was not involved in any of that at all. It was between him and his sister and brother."
He said during recent years that he had some dealings with Mr. Henry through their current top local government roles.
Mr. Henry said his relationship with Mike Evatt "is cordial." He said he also believes that "we have buried the hatchet over the lawsuit and there are no grudges."
He said his half-sister, Bobbie, now lives in Hixson and they have "little or no contact," but he said he does not believe there are any ill feelings between them.