So, you may have noticed that there is a City Council candidate for At-Large Seat A named George Wallace. (If you haven’t, you can read all about him in our article on the contest from a few weeks back, which you can find on our website.) You may also know that there is, or was, another politician by the same name, the former Alabama governor best known for declaring, “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.” That George Wallace ran for president four times, trumpeting states’ rights and appealing for support to white voters alienated by the Democratic Party’s embrace of civil rights. Knoxville’s own George Wallace is a Realtor and the head of the Knox Housing Partnership, which places affordable housing in city neighborhoods. The name aside, there’s no reason for us to even mention the two of them together. Or at least there wasn’t until Knoxville George Wallace posted a picture on his campaign Facebook page over the weekend, of a little memento from 1972: a pocketknife showing the profile of the other GW, emblazoned with the words, “Elect George Wallace.”
We called Knoxville Wallace just to make sure that he’s not associating himself with any of the other Wallace’s agenda. “No,” he said with a laugh. “Somebody gave that to me. It’s just a keepsake.” He added, for clarity, “I’m in no way affiliated with that George Wallace.” Good to know.