This Thursday, High Noon

At noon this Thursday is the qualifying deadline for several elected positions in Knox County. The position held by Criminal Court Judge Steve Sword, the Knox County Law Director, Knox County Property Assessor and four seats on the Knox County School Board are up for grabs.

Steve Sword was appointed by Governor Bill Haslam to fill the the Criminal Court Judge position previously held by Richard Baumgartner. A judicial review commmitee accepted applications, interviewed candidates and reccommended three candidates for Governor Haslam’s consideration. Steve Sword, an active military veteran spent a majority of his time in the District Attorney General’s Office prosecuting crimes on children. He was an excellent selection to fill the Criminal Court vacancy and in the time that he has been filling in, he has been working tirelessly to restore stability and to work through the heavy case load in Criminal Court.

Knox County Law Director: It is anticipated that the Joe Jarrett and Richard “Bud” Armstrong race will come down to Jarrett and Armstrong. While there has been some activity to recruit Court Clerk Cathy Quist and other potential third candidates. It seems we will simply have a Joe and Bud showdown.

Knox County Property Assessor: It appears that the this one is coming down to John Whitehead and Phil Ballard. This one is gonna be fun to watch. Ballard’s people don’t like Whitehead and they want Ballard to not have an opponent. Whitehead who served eight years and then did not run again is returning due in part to the way Ballard has run or not run the office. If Ballard figures out which job he is running for it would be nice. After three years of being the Property Assessor, in November at the Halls Republican Club while introducing himself Ballard said I am your County Commissioner. County Commissioner is a part time legislative job. Interesting!

Knox County School Board: Four of the Nine seats are up for grabs.

Second District: Two term incumbent and former Chair Indya Kincannon appeared to have an uncontested run for a third term. Until yesterday when longtime community volunteer Michelle Carringer picked up a petition. Carringer, a former first Vice Chair of the Knox County Republican Party and former County Commissioner was redistricted into the second district by the County Commission. The second district picked up Shannondale and all of Fountain City.
Third District: Board Member Cindy Buttry who County Commission redistricted out of the third has decided to not run for a third term. One reason is she would be out of district, (which the county charter actually does allow) but also out of respect for the term limit provision that the citizens of Knox County approved in 1994. Currently Gina Oster, Elaine Davis and Bobby Edington have picked up petitions. Oster a community volunteer and former host of “House Talk with Gina” a weekly radio talk show on WOKI FM 98.7 that featured discusssions about homeowner issues. Oster is a licensed real estate agent. Davis also a community volunteer and former appointed County Commissioner is a strong advocate as well as her children are school age and Davis would bring a active parent perspective.

Fifth District: Two term incumbent Karen Carson was being challenged by Farragut community activist and youth sports Coach Brian Bruce. Bruce has opted not to run. It would appear that Elaine Davis may instead of going for the third district may challenge Carson. Davis who until about 4 weeks ago (when county commission redistricted the whole county) was in the fifth district. The redistricted fifth now includes all the Town of Farragut along with the two precincts of Concord and Lotts Elementary School. The Town of Farragut within the past couple of years overwhelmingly approved term limits, which coincides with the term limits that the citizens of Knox County approved in 1994. Farragut Mayor Ralph McGill was elected primarily on the term limit issue. How the term limit issue combined with the high school rezoning that took Farragut residents to Hardin Valley combined with the controversial “planned parenthood” and the “creation -v- evolution” curriculm will play in this election certainly will be worth watching.

Eighth District: Former County Commissioner Mike McMillan who won a special election against longtime schools administrator Roy Mullins about a year and a half ago following an untimely resignation from the board. It appears that McMillan will be challenged by “Carter guy” Conley Underwood. Underwood got the “Carter guy” title because he has been the out front leader on getting the new Carter Elementary School. In spite of School Board Members coming and going, in spite of budgetary issues. Underwood took a Winston Churchill attitude “Never Give Up, Never Give Up, Never Give Up” and now the NEW Carter Elementary School will be rising from the ground on Strawplains Pike very soon.   

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