First District candidates increase visibility

Betsy PickleSouth Knox

The field of contenders for the position of First District City Council representative has narrowed from seven to four, and candidates are revving up their efforts to win over voters in the district, which covers South Knoxville and Fort Sanders.


Vying for the seat that will be vacated this year by term-limited Nick Pavlis are Greg Knox, Rebecca Parr, Stephanie Welch and Andrew Wilson, all of whom live in SoKno. No longer seeking the office are Ken Bradley, Debbie Helsley and Kevin Hill.

All seven had been showing up at neighborhood meetings since early this year to make themselves familiar to voters, but it will definitely be easier to remember the candidates now that only four remain.

Early voting for the primary is Aug. 9-24. The nonpartisan primary is Aug. 29, and the top two vote-getters for the district move on to the general election on Nov. 7, in which all voters are allowed to vote for all districts in contention.

The South Knoxville Alliance is sponsoring a candidate meet-and-greet 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 13, in the library at Dogwood Elementary School, 705 Tipton Ave. There will be light refreshments. The candidates also have their own kickoff events scheduled.

First District candidate Greg Knox works with his Lindbergh Forest neighbors during Keep Knoxville Beautiful’s South Knox cleanup in March.

Knox, a software developer, lives in Lindbergh Forest. He is hosting a campaign kickoff picnic 1-4 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at Mary Vestal Park, 401 Maryville Pike. Food and games will be provided, and there will be a quick announcement and speech at 3 p.m.

Parr, production manager for the UT School of Music Opera Theatre, lives in Vestal. She is hosting a PICNIC – People Intentionally Creating Nonviolent Inclusive Community – event with family activities 3-5 p.m. Sunday, June 25, at Sam Duff Memorial Park, 4060 Chapman Highway (behind Krystal).

Welch, vice president of operations for the Great Schools Partnership, lives in Island Home Park. She is having a campaign kickoff 5-7 p.m. Thursday, June 8, at the Candoro Arts & Heritage Center, 4450 Candora Ave. All are invited to come for food and fun.

Wilson, an arborist and forestry consultant, lives in Lake Forest. He hosted the Sustainable South festival May 27 at Sam Duff Memorial Park with family activities and vendors and info booths promoting sustainable practices.

The South Knoxville Neighborhood & Business Coalition is in the process of setting up a candidate forum around the first of August. Details will be announced as they become available.

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