Eddie Mannis scores impressive endorsements

Sandra ClarkGossip and Lies

Early voting in the city election starts in a week. Eddie Mannis has landed big endorsements in the race for mayor. Read the press release: Eddie Mannis endorsements

Endorsements are from current or former council members:

George Wallace, at-large council member and co-owner of Wallace & Wallace real estate agency, said Mannis has built a successful business. “He understands hiring, he understands HR and Civil Service. With 1,600 city employees, that’s a key skill. He understands the necessity of keeping a lid on expenses and balancing it with our revenue.”

Nick Pavlis, former vice mayor who most recently represented South Knoxville, said Mannis is “head and shoulders above the other candidates.”

Brenda Palmer represented District 3 in northwest Knoxville for two terms. She said Mannis brought “efficiencies, leadership and management skills to the city” as deputy mayor, overseeing day-to-day operations of city government for two years.

Nick Della Volpe, who represented District 4 for two terms, said of Mannis: “No training wheels necessary.”

Early voting will run from Aug. 7-22 with the election Aug. 27. If one of the six candidates for mayor polls half of the votes plus one, he or she will be elected outright. If no one gains a majority (very hard to do with six candidates), then the top two vote-getters will head into a run-off election on Nov. 5.

Mannis has been the perceived front-runner from the start. The founder/owner of Prestige Cleaners, a former deputy mayor, the founder of HonorAir Knoxville has been running for at least 10 years (maybe since he was 6). He deferred to Rogero in 2011, hosting a reception for her when she beat Mark Padgett and Ivan Harmon.

Mannis has separated himself from Rogero on three recent issues. He doesn’t want to move the police and fire departments headquarters into the former St. Mary’s hospital. He supports the city getting involved with stabilizing and reselling the campus to protect the surrounding neighborhood, but he says police should be organized with precincts in communities. Mannis voiced reservations about Recode Knoxville, which Rogero strongly advocated and candidate Marshall Stair voted for. He has proposed restructuring the current offices of redevelopment and community development into a combined Mayor’s Office of Economic & Community Development.

His attention to business, particularly developers, has attracted the attention of growth proponents both inside and outside the city. Thousand-dollar donors include Justin Bailey (Powell), Richard Bean (Dante), Rob Barger (Halls), Eleanor Yoakum (Tazewell), H.E. Bittle III (Hardin Valley), Kevin Clayton (Northshore area), Rita Cochran (Rockford), William and Kelly Conley (West), Joe Hollingsworth (Clinton), Lee and Susan Iglehart (Ritta), Danny Kirby (Halls), Brenda and Kenneth Mills (Farragut), and John and Judy Valliant (East county). Get the full donor list for all candidates here.

Mannis is the blue-collar, up-by-the-bootstraps candidate.

“He’s the guy who started HonorAir,” said Pavlis. “He has chaired both the Airport Authority and the Zoo, both of which flourished and grew under his leadership.”

“Given that almost nobody has a better handle on what the city needs in a mayor than members of the council, these are incredibly gratifying endorsements,” said Mannis. “The fact that these four people worked with all the major candidates and then endorsed me makes me want to work and campaign even harder so I can get into office and make them proud.”

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