The town’s been buzzing since Michael Silence reported on his blog that Congressman Zach Wamp would have a Knoxville fund-raiser at the home of Bill Baxter. While not everyone in town is a fan of Mayor Bill Haslam and his family, political junkies have been wondering if anyone prominent would come out publicly in opposition.
When Baxter came back to Knoxville after serving as a commissioner for Gov. Don Sundquist, he investigated the possibility of running for mayor; it was widely speculated he would be positioned for a gubernatorial run in 2010. But it turned out that Haslam would run for mayor, potential mayoral candidate Tom Varlan became a federal judge, potential candidate Mike Edwards took over the Knox Area Chamber Partnership, and Baxter got an appointment as TVA chairman, clearing the field of Republican candidates.
Now Haslam is running for governor and Baxter is running a hotel in Jackson Hole, Wyo.