Knox County Commission: Districts 8 & 9
Voting starts next Wednesday (2/14/24) whether we’re ready or not. KnoxTNToday.com will profile various races and will provide links so you can check out these folks for yourself. We’re starting with Knox County Commission Districts 8 and 9. Just because I find them interesting.
We would have to scroll back to the last century to find Democrats on Knox County Commission from District 9 (Robert Bratton) or 6 (Mark Cawood). I can’t recall one ever winning election in District 8.
District 8: Democrat Charles V. Chandler is on the ballot and will move on to the August general election. He does not yet have a website or a Facebook page and reported raising just $150.
This race will be decided on March 5 in the Republican Primary.
D.J. Corcoran is the only candidate of the four that I know. He was a career firefighter with the KFD, rose to the rank of captain and ended his career as the public information officer. He’s never run for office although he’s certainly helped in many campaigns including those of his sister Sherry Witt. He started early and has time to serve. Website
Kara Daley owns and operates Twisters restaurants with two locations in District 8. She has a Facebook page and seems eager to serve, although a bit vague on the issues.
Adam Thompson got into the race late. He is a sixth-generation Corryton farmer who is interested in land development and zoning. Specifically, he wants to preserve the rural character of the district and has spoken at the commission in support of changes to the proposed growth plan. Website
Thompson’s financial disclosure shows $6,550 raised. Of this, $6,000 came from newspaper publisher Steve Hunley, wife Kim Hunley and associates Lisa and Scott Starbuck. Steve Hunley lobbied for years for a middle school at Gibbs, even though the school-aged population didn’t warrant it. “If you build it, they will come,” said Steve.
Well, we built it and now Hunley is the chief financial backer of the candidate who wants to “preserve the rural character” of the district. Steve’s new motto could be: “If you build it, we won’t let them come.”
Barry Neal is the choice of outgoing Commissioner Carson Dailey, and his disclosure shows contributions from many in South Knox County plus area developers and landowners like Bill Weigel ($500), Scott Davis ($1,000), Victor Jernigan ($500) and Tim Graham ($1,000). Website
Andy Fox is an attorney associated with efforts to block the Health Department from managing the Covid pandemic. He’s received nominal contributions from Kevin Hill and Nurse Debi (Stafford of Powell). Incredibly, he’s also taken money from Victor Jernigan ($500) and Tim Graham ($1,000). No word yet from Bill Weigel and Scott Davis.
Fox needs to raise money because he’s paying out big fees to WIND Consulting, associated with campaign guru Erik Wiatr – $2,500 in mid-August 2023 and mid-October. We’ll see some more when the next disclosure is filed.
Matthew Park, the sole Democratic candidate, raised almost $18,000 in the first reporting period. Park is hard-working but a city resident. For Park to win in August would require bitterness left from the GOP Primary. Given the players, that could happen. Website
Nick McBride sent me a deed and asked if I saw anything strange. I read it six times, looking for a scoop. Nothing. “The signature is printed,” said Nick. “We’re not teaching kids to write in cursive anymore.”
Seema Singh quickly withdrew from the race for state House District 90 when state Rep. Gloria Johnson announced on Wednesday her intention to run for both her current seat and the U.S. Senate seat now held by Marsha Blackburn. “Gloria and I have been communicating …, and she knows I want all of us to have her back. …” Singh, who is term-limited on city council, said she will refund her campaign contributions.
The Tennessee Lookout reports that “U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson will lead fundraising events for 5th District Rep. Andy Ogles and 2nd District Rep. Tim Burchett over the next couple of days in Nashville and Knoxville . . . if he’s still Speaker.”
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.