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Bradley County residents embrace changes residents voted for

Steve Lawson will replace Watson. The official election happens in August. The term will start September 2nd. (Images: WTVC)

Bradley County residents are embracing changes they voted for.

They not only unseated their sheriff, but also one of his biggest opponents.

Commissioner Dan Rawls has been very critical of Sheriff Eric Watson during his term.

People in this community say they were tired of constant drama.

Chris Mullin is raising a family in Bradley County. He doesn't like the way the community has been represented lately.

"People in Bradley County have been kind of embarrassed and upset at some of the things that have gone on in the sheriff's department over the last few years," he said.

In that time, Sheriff Eric Watson's been accused of working too closely with his wife who's a bail bondsman. Critics also say he didn't run the jail well. And, last year.. Watson faced charges associated with re-selling cars.

"A lot of people had a feeling that that was symptomatic of what was going on.," Mullin said. "That was just the surface of what might actually be happening."

Some residents continued to support Watson though, especially after the charges were dropped.

Paul Baxter voted for him. He said, "I know he's a better person than what they said he was."

But now, Watson and Commissioner Dan Rawls are both out.

Both made headlines over the years for smearing one another.

As Tim Mason comes in to fill Rawl's seat, residents say there will be less drama.

"That's the thing that everybody told me," Mason said. "If we put you in this seat, we want you to be positive for Bradley county."

When we talked to commissioner Dan Rawls about the losses, he says he's happy Watson's been booted, even if he brought Rawls down with him.

"He definitely targeted me.," Rawls said. "Be what it may, the trade off, I can live with."

Steve Lawson will replace Watson. The official election happens in August. The term will start September 2nd.

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