Local Dems' Circular Firing Squad

There has been some discussion of punishing Democrats who supported the independent candidate who opposed Democratic County Commissioner Amy Broyles, though the kerfuffle seems to have subsided or at least been postponed.

Don Daugherty, a former chair of the Knox County Democratic Party, ran against Broyles with support from some Democrats, independents, and some Republicans. The Democratic Board of Governors scheduled a meeting Friday night to investigate the actions of Erin Lonas, an 8th District representative on the Board of Governors, for her support of Daugherty.

After an exchange of e-mails and a heated letter from Daugherty, the meeting was postponed indefinitely. The Knox County Democratic Party by-laws require officers to support the Democratic nominee. In his letter, Daugherty charged this was the first step of an effort to punish Democrats who supported him and reminded the board that Broyles had run in 2006 as an independent against then-incumbent Democratic County Commissioner Billy Tindell.

Lonas doesn't live in Broyles' 2nd District—she represents East Knox County—but she is a family friend of Daugherty's and was accused of forwarding a Daugherty campaign e-mail critical of Broyles. Lonas was part of the effort to recall school board member Bill Phillips after he was charged with assaulting his wife. Phillips eventually resigned.