Knox commission won’t name interim Armstrong successor

Knox County commissioners have decided not to appoint anyone to temporarily replace Rep. Joe Armstrong in House District 15, reports Georgiana Vines.

“We’re close to November, you allow the constituents then to say who they would want for the seat,” said Commissioner Evelyn Gill, who represents the commission’s 1st District. “If the time frame had been extended, you could’ve had an appropriate appointment. But really, it is 25 days. I looked at my calendar.”

Gill’s commission district overlaps with the state’s 15th House District that Armstrong had represented for many years before recently announcing his retirement after an August felony conviction.

…In a special called meeting, the county’s Democratic Party nominated Rick Staples. He faces Independent candidate Pete Drew on the official Election Day ballot on Nov. 8. Rhonda Gallman has launched a grassroots and online campaign as a write-in candidate for the seat, which covers much of East Knoxville. The district is a Democratic stronghold in an otherwise Republican county.