Who's The 3rd Candidate for County Mayor?

When former Sheriff Tim Hutchison named a treasurer for a possible county mayoral race, cell phones lit up all over town and e-mail flew. Will he really run? Friends say yes. Is he angling for someone to offer him a big job instead? Enemies say yes. No one seems to be neutral on the former lawman.

The most interesting rumor is that Hutchison is trying to recruit a West Knoxville candidate to get into the race and split state Sen. Tim Burchett's vote. Burchett is the only declared candidate at this point. The theory is that Hutchison will run well South, East, and North and that Burchett is strongest in the western part of his senate district.

The theory also argues that Hutchison's supporters are firm and that two other candidates in the race would split the anti-Hutchison vote.

The various scenarios involve plugging in any prominent West Knoxvillian. But Mike Hammond has been running for county-wide County Commission, Richard Briggs is running for County Commission, and Craig Leuthold says he is definitely not running for county mayor, though if he were it would be to win, not to help another candidate.