A Quandry for Two Knoxville Reform Candidates

How does a reform-minded citizen avoid being perceived as a political opportunist?

Lewis Cosby has used his business and accounting background to raise questions about county finances and accounting irregularities, borne out by a series of audits. Cosby wants to run for county mayor to "clean up the mess" but is at pains to say he came to the decision after the fact, not before he investigated the county budget.

County Commissioner Rick Briggs, a heart surgeon, has been leading the reform movement of late and has considered a run for county mayor to shake up county government. His reform efforts have been attacked as a political ploy to help his mayoral race. Friends say he is torn between wanting to take on the challenge and giving up his medical practice. He says he is leaning toward not making a run, but he continues to be called on for speaking engagements and other traditional steps involved in running for mayor.

It is generally thought that Briggs and Cosby, each a reformer, might split the vote against the announced candidate, state Sen. Tim Burchett, and possible candidate former sheriff Tim Hutchison. The two men have talked and do not want to run against each other. Stay tuned.