The slate for 2012 Knox County elections is set. The “off year” elections (most county officeholders are in the middle of their terms) include the offices of property assessor and law director, not the sexiest of political races. But they will likely be hard fought. Former County Commissioner Bud Armstrong will be running against incumbent Joe Jarret for law director; Knox County is the only county in the state that elects the legal advisor for its county government. Jarret was appointed to the post last year when Bill Lockett had to resign in the midst of a scandal.
John Whitehead, who worked in the property assessor’s office from the time he got back from Vietnam in 1972 until he eventually won and served two terms and left due to term limits, is opposing incumbent assessor and former County Commissioner Phil Ballard. There is no love lost between the two, so you can expect a rough and tumble race.
The only other races are for some contested school board seats. The most interesting might be between incumbent board member Karen Carson and Elaine Davis, in District 5. Davis served after an appointment to County Commission and has served on the county’s ethics committee. Out east, in District 8, Conley Underwood, a popular guy who led the fight for Carter Elementary School, is running against incumbent Mike McMillan.
In open seat District 3, you have Doug Harris, Gina Oster, and Bobby Edington seeking a first term. Board Vice-Chair Indya Kincannon is unopposed for her 2nd District school board seat, as is Criminal Court Judge Stephen Sword (who was appointed to replace the disgraced Richard Baumgartner).