Wanted: Establishment Candidate for Knoxville Mayor

Rumors are rife about a group of influential Knoxvillians who have surveyed the current field of city mayoral candidates and decided they don't want any of them. A full court press is believed to be on to find a "name" candidate with resources who could get in the race and win.

Some of the nervousness may be caused by the perception that the frontrunner at this point is Madeline Rogero, a Democrat who lost to Bill Haslam in a closer-than-it-should-have-been election in 2003.

The deadline for filing for the race isn't until June 16 for the primary election on Sept. 27.

There was an earlier effort to recruit popular businessman Eddie Manis to run, though friends say Manis has decided against it. It could be the rumor is a mutation from the mayoral race conversations that make the rounds among political junkies on a daily basis. But those junkies are hard-pressed to think of anyone in Knoxville these days, not already in office, who would be a big enough name to jump in and be a frontrunner.