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New County Mayor will seek appointment

Interim County Mayor Wilburn Gene Ashe told the Independent Appeal Wednesday that he will seek appointment to serve in his present post until the August 2012 election.

“I’m going to ask to be appointed to serve for the next 14 months. My reasons for that are that I’ve been here before. I pretty well understand day-to-day operations. I don’t have to have on-the-job training. I won’t be seeking reelection so I won’t be campaigning and won’t have any axes to grind, and then it will leave everyone on an equal playing field for the August 2012 election. I feel really good about it because I’ve been working with those people for a long time and have a good relationship. Jai Templeton did a good job and I would like to keep that going,” he said.

Ashe became interim Mayor because the McNairy County Commission elected him Chair Pro Tem. Previous Mayor Jai Templeton resigned on June 1 to become Tennessee Deputy Commissioner for Agriculture.

He will serve in this capacity until the June 27 meeting of the commission. They will elect someone to serve until August 2012 at that meeting. 

Another election for a full four-year term will be held in August 2014.

Ashe said he has been working on day-to-day operations since assuming the office and has continued the work begun by Templeton on the budget.

Ashe was born and raised in McNairy County. 

He graduated from Selmer High School and Mississippi State. Ashe received his Master’s Degree at the University of Memphis (then called Memphis State University).

He taught school here for 17 years. Ashe also worked at Selmer Bank and Trust (now Regions).

He previously served as county executive for 17 years also. The office was called County Judge for the first eight years he served, and the rest of the time it was called County Executive. 

This was until he filled out the 18 months remaining in Mike Smith’s term in 2005 and 2006. Smith left this office to become Executive Director of Southwest Human Resource Agency.

He and his wife have been married for 51 years, and they have two children and three grandchildren.

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