Victoria DeFreese’s entry into the Knox County state senate race makes it three women seeking to replace the retiring state Sen. Jamie Woodson. DeFreese represented South Knox County on County Commission and it will likely be her base of support going forward.
DeFreese will not have the money of either Becky Duncan Massey or City Councilwoman Marilyn Roddy, but will rely on social media and a “grassroots” effort. But her entry does change the dynamic of the race. South Knox County would have seemed to be a voter-rich environment for Massey, given the widespread anger in the neighborhoods over the homeless housing plan for the old Flenniken School—a project that Roddy voted for on City Council.
DeFreese will likely get quiet support from many of the conservatives who supported her on Commission on various issues. But not many are likely to offer public support and risk the anger of either the Duncan family or the Republican establishment.