Be careful what you wish for. The mayor, city judge and four members of Knoxville City Council will be elected in 2023, and Republicans face a wipeout. City elections are non-partisan, of course, but two years ago the “young guns” faction of the local Republican Party targeted Democrats on the city council. With five seats up, the GOP lost everyone. It wasn’t even close.
Who can blame the local Democrats for going after two Republicans this year?
At-large Seat A: Now held by Lynne Fugate. She previously served on the school board, also non-partisan, and now heads the Girl Scouts of the Southern Appalachians. Lynne’s expected foe is Realtor Cameron Brooks, who has pulled a petition but not designated a Seat. Financial disclosures show Fugate with $5,200 on hand as of July 7, 2022. Brooks has raised over $18,000 and has the Rev. Harold Middlebrook as his treasurer.
At-large Seat B: Now held by Janet Testerman, whose dad, Kyle, was mayor twice back in the day. Janet’s disclosure shows some $900 on hand from the 2019 campaign. She’s filed no new paperwork. Is she even running?
We sent an email: Are you running for re-election and, if you’re undecided, when can we expect a decision?
Testerman replied: I’ll announce in the next few weeks. I’ve got some priorities right now that I need to get through and then I’ll focus on my political endeavors. I told myself after the rep race I was going to give myself til after the first of the year. Thank you and hope you’re well! – Janet
Meanwhile, Debbie Helsley, a partisan Democrat, jumped in this race last week. Helsley campaigned hard against Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs in 2022. She didn’t win, but she carried the city wards by 61 percent and got 45 percent countywide. You can find her website here.
At-large Seat C: Now held by attorney Amelia Parker. She had $835 funds on hand as of July 18, 2022.
And two opponents: Matthew Best is executive director of The Change Center and has preached at Children of God Ministries since he was 19 years old. He is currently the assistant pastor.
Opponent No. 2: Timothy Hill is a real estate developer with Hatcher-Hill. Hill had raised over $81,000 as of the July 14, 2022 disclosure – Including $1,600 from Janet Testerman and $3,200 from former city council member George Wallace and wife, Stephanie.
Speaking of bad optics: Every one of Hill’s contributions was for $1,000 or the maximum $1,600.
District 5: And finally, there is attorney Charles Thomas running for re-election from District 5. He has $2,000 cash on hand from his 2019 campaign and at this point zero opponents.
Rules and Dates: here
Map of districts: here
Mayor: Indya Kincannon – Has about $15,000 on hand as of July 14, 2022 filing.
Opponent: Keith Lyon, Republican
Zero funds raised
Opponent: Kerry Williams, South Knoxville, no money raised
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.