Harwell meet and greet

Sandra ClarkFeature

About 50 Democrats and Republicans had lunch at the Crowne Plaza with House Speaker Beth Harwell today (7/13).

The group had two things in common. Their names came from organizer and Knoxville attorney John Valliant’s Rolodex and they are veteran political operatives who have participated in countless Knox County elections. They ranged from Democrats Billy Tindell and Jim Jennings to Republicans like Donnie Wiser and Richard Bean. A descriptor for the group might be “the courthouse crowd,” past and present.

Harwell gave part of her stump speech and answered questions.

Valiant said a lot of those attending are turned off by negative campaigning and some had issues with businessman Randy Boyd avoiding taxes by headquartering his company in Ireland. And some in attendance just enjoyed a nice lunch and visiting with old friends.

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