Knox County commissioners Monday interviewed four potential interim successors to state Sen. Jamie Woodson, reports Mike Donilla. They’ll make a final selection next week during their regularly scheduled meeting.
Under state law, the Knox County Commission will choose a temporary successor who will serve until a special election is scheduled by the governor.
It’s anticipated to coincide with Knoxville city elections Sept. 27 and Nov. 8.
Five candidates applied for the spot before last week’s deadline. One — Janie Vega, a long-time legal secretary — did not attend the interview process. Neither she nor the others plan to run for the seat on a permanent basis.
Commissioners gave the other four candidates roughly five minutes Monday to say why they were qualified for the seat, which isn’t expected to be more than a caretaker position, because the General Assembly is not in session.
…Here’s a snapshot of their comments:
Sue King Atchley: The wife of former state Sen. Ben Atchley touted her husband’s 32 years in the General Assembly and said that in case of an emergency she’d be able to rely on her friends and staff still serving. “I would also have the best help in the world – the most honest and knowledgeable person who has been there and done that right at my fingertips in case I need it,” she said, referring to her husband. “The main thing would be to take care of the constituents. If they have a problem and need help, I would make sure they would get to the right person who could get them help.”
Carson Dailey: The former county ethics committee member and current chairman of the South Knoxville Republican Club said many seniors in the community rely on him because of his work in a number of homeowner groups. “They know if they call me, I’ll get things done,” he said. “I always get back to them. I’m a community person, I love the neighbors in my community and if they need help, I’ll be there for them.”
John Ewart: The executive director of Mercy Health and Fitness Center, who served in the early 1990s in the U.S. Navy, also said his “mission is to serve the community.” He added: “What I bring to District 6 is no political agenda, no ties to state government (but) the ability to truly listen to people and present their issues and problems to the current leaders and future leaders.”
Tom Midyett: The local consultant said he’s “worked intricately with government here in Tennessee,” and would use his contacts to offer any needed help to residents of the 6th District. “I have started to wind down my work activities and I’m enjoying my (retirement), but after 40-something years of working in and around state government, this is an opportunity to give something back. I know the phone numbers, and if someone has a problem with state government, I know how to get that problem solved.”