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It Was a Near Thing
Bug in Our Ear
But the group got a grilling from U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson , R-Ga., about his state’s lack of representation on the board. After a series of tough questions he wound up the hearing by saying he had a specific question for Susan Williams . The Knoxville public relations executive braced herself for another tough question.
Isakson, evidently noting that Williams is a UT trustee, said: “I just want to know one thing: Did you hire Pat Summitt ?” Laughter followed, and Williams replied, “No, but I worked over there (in the athletic department) for eight years, and I tried to talk her into running for governor twice.”
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The biggest surprise of the week was former Knoxville Mayor Randy Tyree picking up a petition to run for sheriff. Tyree began his career as a Knoxville police officer and was safety commissioner for former Mayor Leonard Rogers before moving into the mayor’s office. The move even caught fellow Democrats by surprise. Some of them had been prepared to support Republican candidate Larry Hunter , the only previously announced candidate against 16-year-veteran Sheriff Tim Hutchison .
County Mayor Mike Ragsdale went from having no opponent to possibly having one opponent to possibly having two opponents, and maybe back to no opponent. Ragsdale has had extensive polling done and his staff says it shows high favorables in all nine County Commission districts as well as positive numbers on the direction the county is going.
The deadline today is for county offices. Legislative candidates do not have to file until noon April 6.
There appear to be a number of spirited races shaping up for County Commission. To mention a few, all the commissioners who voted against the wheel tax are expected to have an opponent. South Knoxville marina owner David Kiger is expected to run against Commissioner Paul Pinkston , Commissioner Mike McMillan is opposed by Phil Ballard and Commissioner Mark Cawood is facing a challenge from school board member Chuck James . Most political observers do not think this is a coincidence.
The campaign committee list is about 100 names long and some of those listed include Darrell Akins , Ben and Sue Atchley , Councilman Joe Bailey , Councilman Mark Brown , state Sen. Tim Burchett , Pete Clausen , Bob Crossley , Sam Furrow , Fred Lawson , Mike and Kim McClamroch , Bill Regas , Wilson Ritchie , Steve Roth , Bo Shafer and Susan Williams .
Former state Rep. Jimmy Kyle Davis , Assistant District Attorney Andy Jackson and attorney Ursula Bailey have also declared for the race.
State Sen. Tim Burchett goes to church with McLeary’s brother at Cedar Springs Presbyterian, and he has developed a friendship with McLeary during their time in Nashville. Burchett was the go-between in talks between McLeary and Republican leaders and is credited with making the arguments that brought the senator around.
When McLeary agreed to the switch he did want one thing from the Republicans. He wanted to sit as far away from his former Democratic colleagues as he could. The vacated seat was occupied by state Sen. Jamie Woodson , R-Knoxville, who agreed to switch desks.
It Was a Near Thing
Mrs. Wamp had been to Erlanger hospital for treatment of the kidney stone and was able to go home. But she was rushed back to the hospital the next day in septic shock from a serious infection that was life-threatening. She spent last week in the hospital in stable condition while treatment continued. She has been moved out of intensive care.
Wamp represents Jefferson County and sent regrets to its Lincoln Day dinner Friday night, via U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander , R-Tenn., the keynote speaker. Alexander told the crowd that the Wamp family would appreciate their prayers and understanding.
You knew that snow forecast was all hype, but you had to go to the grocery store Friday afternoon anyway. And you really did need bread and milk. But you felt like such a fool in line with all those other people buying bread and milk. And canned goods. And candles. And frozen pizzas.
There ought to be some kind of button you could wear—“I’m not with these people,” maybe.
But didn’t you feel some pity for the poor television reporters standing in parking lots pointing to snow on a car hood and observing that there should be some more snow on this spot in about 12 more hours?