There was nothing tentative about Bud Armstrong's campaign launch for the position of county law director. He filled the Summit Room at the Crowne Plaza last week with well over 20 tables, at $1,000 per table. The room, the traditional headquarters for Republican candidates on election night, contained a who's who of East Knox County politicos, Armstrong's base of support. It included current and former school board and County Commission members and Knoxville Focus publisher Steve Hunley.
The event's success may have been due to its organizers, among them Charles and Phyllis Severance.
Armstrong made no bones about what is likely to be the main issue in the race. He talked about returning the law director's office to "our values," and emphasized the position needs an East Tennessee perspective. He cited a need to return to the values of former law directors like current judges Dale Workman and Mike Moyers. In other words, his opponent "ain't from around here."
Armstrong's opponent thus far is incumbent Law Director Joe Jarrett, who came to Knoxville from Florida to work for previous Law Director Bill Lockett. Lockett resigned in disgrace in April 2010, after reports he withheld some fees from his former law partners, and County Commission appointed Jarrett as an interim replacement.
Meanwhile, the same night, Jarrett was campaigning at the South Knoxville Republican Club.