Knox Democrats eye three for Armstrong’s seat

Three names have emerged as potential candidates to replace Rep. Joe Armstrong as the party’s House District 18 nominee on the November ballot and the Knox County Democratic Party will pick one or perhaps another person who steps forward, reports the News Sentinel.

Armstrong, who had run unopposed in his primary race last week, was convicted Monday on a felony charge of filing a false income tax return, disqualifying him from seeking re-election.

Party members Monday pointed to outgoing County Commissioner Sam McKenzie, City Councilman Dan Brown and community advocate Rick Staples, who most recently lost in the March primary to replace McKenzie, as top candidates to replace Armstrong on the ballot.

Knox County Democratic Chairman Cameron Brooks said he called an Aug. 18 meeting of the Board of Governors for 6 p.m. at the party headquarters. The 16 members who live in House District 15 will nominate and vote on the nominee, he said.

“We’ll take nominations and then go through a roll call,” he said, adding that a majority is not required and whoever received the most votes will face perennial Independent candidate Pete Drew in the general election.

A nominee must be submitted to the state by noon on Sept. 29, which is 40 days before the Nov. 8 election, according to state officials.