Who runs Knoxville?

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

Who are the most powerful people in Knoxville? A summer Power Poll survey of 400 or so folks produced this response:

  1. Bill Haslam, former governor
  2. Randy Boyd, UT president
  3. Indya Kincannon, Knoxville mayor
  4. James Haslam, CEO Pilot Flying J
  5. Glenn Jacobs, Knox County mayor
  6. Donde Plowman, chancellor UT Knoxville
  7. Dolly Parton, well, you know
  8. Raja Jubran, CEO Denark Construction
  9. Natalie Haslam, community volunteer
  10. Wes Stowers, president Stowers Machinery
  11. Sharon Pryse, CEO/founder The Trust Co. of TN
  12. Gloria Johnson, state rep and candidate for U.S. Senate
  13. Victor Ashe, former mayor of Knoxville
  14. Dr. Harold A Middlebrook Sr., pastor, civil rights leader
  15. David Brace, COO city of Knoxville
  16. James L. Clayton, president Clayton Family Foundation
  17. Ben Bentley, executive director KCDC
  18. Dee Haslam, founder RIVR Media
  19. Tim Burchett, Member of Congress
  20. Becky Duncan Massey, state senator

Eight women, 12 men; 8 in government, 12 in business; 4 named Haslam; 1 named Duncan; 2 of color; just 1 religious leader.

Changes over time: Fifty years ago we would have seen names like Cas Walker, Aubrey “Red” Wagner at TVA, U.S. Rep. John J Duncan, Knoxville Mayor Kyle Testerman, Bill Tallent, Knox County finance commissioner; Superintendent of Schools Mildred E. Doyle, Dr. Mary Duffy, at the Health Department; Jim Haslam, Jim L. Clayton, Martha Ashe, a couple of bankers, three or four clergy and a couple of guys named Butcher.

Politics is getting weird: Two states (Maine and Colorado) say Donald Trump is not eligible to be on their ballot for president because he encouraged insurrection during the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. Hmmm. No court has determined Trump’s culpability for Jan. 6, and the U.S. Senate failed to remove him from office after the House of Representatives impeached him on those charges.

Donald Trump: I don’t want him to go to jail. I just want him to go away.

Ron DeSantis, said a late-night comic, started running for president as Trump without the baggage. Now he’s become Ted Cruz without the personality.

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today


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