Early voting for the Republican primary is in progress. We strongly urge you to vote.
Some of you have asked which candidates we support. As an organization, we are not endorsing candidates but are providing the information we have so you can choose.
We have reached out to all the commission candidates for the fourth and fifth districts (Bearden to Farragut). Only Scott Broyles and John Schoonmaker have responded. Both have given full, forthright answers on the questions that concern us. Mr. Broyles’ answers are posted in part here. We will continue to post those.
Mr. Schoonmaker, as the incumbent is on the record on the issues. We have said here before he has been very helpful to our group and very responsive to all our questions. We have found him deeply knowledgeable with a strong public service ethic, and unafraid to vote for the interest of his constituents even when that is unpopular.
Mr. Broyles, a newcomer has a strong, demonstrated record of prior public service (Memphis beat cop, homeland security officer, now aviation safety executive) and he demonstrates to us a good comprehension of the complex issues facing Knox County. We see him regularly now attending county commission meetings as an observer- even the work sessions.
It concerns us that some candidates have not responded to our questions or otherwise made their plans and positions on very important issues clear to voters. Our questions are these – do they not understand the complex issues (i.e. zoning, development, sale of public property, flooding, infrastructure needs) or possibly do they wish to avoid any controversy by avoiding taking clear positions?
It is our view, it is the obligation of anyone seeking office to make their positions clearly known, otherwise voters are asked to support a candidate because he or she is a nice person. Our experience over the past two years shows us that a deep knowledge and the willingness to take sometimes unpopular stands are critical qualities for public service.
At this point, it is our feeling some candidates may be avoiding our interviews because they are aligned with positions we oppose such as abolishing the essential protections for property owners/citizens of the Knox County Growth Plan – which the mayor and developers are aggressively working to eliminate.