Not much has changed in that Republicans and Democrats alike are finding it difficult to find good candidates to replace the departing state Rep. Harry Tindell, D-Knoxville. Though the redrawn district is now slightly Republican, the Democrats are not going to give it up without a fight. Gloria Johnson, the Knox County Democratic Party chair who recently lost a state Senate race in a Republican district, may be the standard-bearer.
But recruitment continues for other potential candidates, possibly former school-board member Anne Woodle, who was very active in the election of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. Also, the state party is reaching out to current school board member Indya Kincannon. Woodle says she is flattered to be considered but is not considering a run. Kincannon is also said to be resisting overtures from the state party.
In case you were wondering, popular Democratic former election commission administrator Greg Mackay lives just outside the district.
The Republicans have also been having a hard time finding a candidate. Several potential candidates have been ruled out because they don’t live in the district, like Knox County Commissioner Ed Shouse, or because they have ruled it out, like recent senate candidate Marilyn Roddy and Councilman Nick Pavlis.
Speculation now is on Gary Loe, who ran against state Rep. Steve Hall last time, but who has a house in the district. Loe had considered running in the new district in the Karns area, but discovered he doesn’t live in the district. Jim Bletner ran for the legislature twice when part of the district included a good bit of Jefferson County is also in the mix.