Knoxville’s 2019 Primary

I live in the county. If I walk my neighborhood, which I won’t during mosquito season, I would weave in and out of the city. Someday, developers will intervene and my tiny, working class neighborhood will be gobbled up by the city. Until then, I vote only for county offices. There are six candidates on the ballot for City Mayor. If you’ve paid attention to Knoxville politics for more than five minutes, you know that only three of those candidates will be considered by the group of people who actually vote in this town. It would take non-voters showing up at the polls for the other candidates to have a real chance. If something that riles people up like Recode were on the ballot, more people would vote. It isn’t, so they won’t.

Of those three recognizable candidates, one consistently has body language that says they believe the race is theirs to win. Another has done the most door knocking and they’ve proven it with heavy social media promotion. The third is oddly calm and confident in their name recognition being enough. All three are going to have very different budgets. How the Mayor distributes funds will set the tone for the communities where you live, work and play. Ignore their personalities. Pay attention to what they have said.

At the Mayoral candidate forum that I attended, an audience member asked about cybersecurity of the City. None of the candidates work in IT, so they all politely talked about other things or said the city needs a good IT person. Any candidate whose campaign website is solely a facebook page has already failed the cybersecurity question. Local R and D parties need to make sure their candidates have websites owned by the campaign or the party.

All six candidates are enthusiastic about Knoxville and I hope that the ones who aren’t elected Mayor will show up on future ballots for other races. I don’t feel the same about the City Council candidates. Some of those people do not belong in public service.

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