State Sen. Tim Burchett challenged the "courthouse" machine and soundly defeated former Sheriff Tim Hutchison for county mayor in the Republican primary. Though he is a veteran officeholder, Burchett has served in Nashville and not as part of the county party establishment.
So there is some symbolism involved in his plans for a party at Powell Auction tonight to celebrate his victory rather than being part of the traditional county Republican Party blowout at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Knoxville.
Powell Auction is where Burchett launched his bid for county mayor with a baloney sandwich lunch last year and promised (though no one remembers but him) to come back there if he won. Party officials are hoping to arrange a face-saving drive-by to the Crowne Plaza by Burchett.