So which Knoxville mayoral candidate will get support from East Knoxville in this election?
The leaders in the predominately black part of town delivered support to Mayor Victor Ashe’s governing coalition for 16 years. They went with his successor Bill Haslam for the last two terms. Both mayors were Republicans, although the neighborhood votes Democratic in other elections. If Madeline Rogero had received the usual Democratic vote from East Knoxville in 2003, she might have defeated Haslam.
The community is split this time around. Former County Commissioner Diane Jordan is supporting Mark Padgett. Longtime school board member and city department head Sam Anderson has been on a host committee for Rogero.
But the biggest problem for mayoral candidates may be apathy. Sources report there isn’t much excitement about the election and that neither Rogero or Padgett are well known in the community.
Meanwhile, Padgett is working the business community and West Knoxville. He has announced a major fund-raiser at Turkey Creek hosted by developers John Turley (of Turkey Creek fame) and David Fiser. The event, at $250 a pop, will be June 2 at the soon-to-open Turkey Creek Public Market.