A miserable night for Mannis and a crow feast for a columnist

Larry Van GuilderAs I see it

Indya Kincannon strolled to victory in Knoxville’s mayoral election on Tuesday with an ease that belied the heated nature of the race in the stretch run.


For Eddie Mannis, it was Waterloo, Custer’s Last Stand and the Charge of the Light Brigade rolled into one. It was Lee at Gettysburg and the French at Agincourt, with fewer arrows, but an abundance of barbs.

Oh, did I mention it wasn’t close?

Kincannon’s win demonstrated to hard-headed Missourians and columnists that political matchups may hand the unwary prognosticator as resounding a defeat as the losing candidate. Curling is the only other contest with dual losers. In curling spectators often succumb to terminal boredom.

Now that I’ve cut my crow into small pieces, I can swallow it, and it isn’t the worst dish I’ve ever been served. That honor goes to fish eyeballs, and if you think I’m making this up get to Googling.

So, congratulations to Mayor-elect Kincannon. Well done!

As (so help me) a neutral if interested observer of the mayoral race, the outcome won’t cost me a moment’s sleep. Some of you aren’t so lucky. For you, I offer some comforting words.

Kincannon will not confiscate your guns. However, if you’re just itching to unleash that quad 50-caliber machine gun in your basement on double-parked vehicles along your street you will draw scrutiny from several gendarmes.

City employees will not be threatened with termination for wearing “dry clean only” clothing beginning Jan. 1, 2020. Polyester? Check with your supervisor.

The new mayor will not declare Knoxville a sanctuary city for bicyclists. Your SUV is safe for now.

In a more thoughtful vein, if Kincannon can give life to issues that comprised her platform, what will she do?

She will continue to implement Housing First as the first step in reducing homelessness. A safe place to shelter from rain and cold is a necessity, not a luxury. Problems ranging from addiction to chronic joblessness are more easily remedied when “home” isn’t a cardboard mattress under a bridge.

If the resources are there, Kincannon will add green space to the city. If you oppose that you might be happier in Los Angeles.

Root for the new mayor to fulfill her pledge to reduce traffic congestion. Everybody wins if her initiative succeeds.

Knoxville, like Nashville, Memphis and Chattanooga, is a blue dot bobbing in an ocean of red. When Tim Burchett, a fervent Trumpist, endorsed Mannis, that may have been enough to persuade any number of wavering Kincannon supporters to back away from her opponent. Clearly, it couldn’t help.

Kincannon will become Knoxville’s second female mayor. Does this herald a trend? My gender has dominated the political playground for a long time, especially at the executive level. That needs to change.

If you’re disheartened by the outcome of our mayoral race, don’t even glance at Virginia in your rearview mirror: That document she’s concealing beneath her new blue gown is called the Equal Rights Amendment.

Larry Van Guilder is the business/government editor for KnoxTNToday.

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