Local GOP candidates celebrate victories at Crowne Plaza

By Ken Lay

David Buuck makes it no secret that he is ready to get to work for the citizens of Knox County and he’ll soon get that chance when he’s sworn in as law director.

“I am the people’s lawyer and I can’t wait to go to work for the people of Knox County,” said Buuck, who defeated independent candidate Jackson Fenner to replace the term-limited Bud Armstrong as Knox County Law Director, Thursday night. “I’m looking forward to carrying on the fine work that Bud has done for the last eight years.

“I’m looking forward to carrying on that work with the professionalism that Bud did.”

Buuck worked for Armstrong in the law director’s office and said that he learned plenty from his predecessor.

“I think we learned a lot from each other and we brought more than 40 years of experience,” Buuck said.

Later, he made an acceptance speech. And he implored his supporters to relish their right to vote as the charter committee considers whether to have the law director appointed by the county mayor rather than having that person elected by the citizens of Knox County.

“There is nothing more sacred than the right to vote,” Buuck said. “But there are people out there that want to take that right away from you, and you may see that on the ballot and you may see it on the ballot in November.”

Buuck also expressed gratitude to his family for their support during the campaign and the election cycle.

“When you run for office, your whole family runs with you. This year, during the pandemic, it was a little tougher because you have to go out and campaign,” Buuck said.

In other local races, Eric Lutton defeated independent candidate Sherif Guindi for Knox County Public Defender.

On the county commission, Courtney Durrett won the District 2 seat, Kyle Ward won in District 4 and John Schoonmaker won in District 5.

In the Tennessee House State House, Knoxville businessman Eddie Mannis held an unofficial 99-vote lead over Gina Oster at press time.

Oster gave a concession speech Thursday night at the Republican return watch party while Mannis did not appear at Thursday night’s gathering. Those candidates were competing for the seat vacated by the retiring Martin Daniel.

In the Tennessee State House, former Knox County Commissioner Michele Carringer defeated Knox County Board of Education Member Patti Lou Bounds in the Republican primary for District 6.

Several candidates ran unopposed in the primary Thursday night. Those candidates included Tim Burchett in the US House of Representatives, Terry Hill (Knox County Commission, District 6); Kyle Hixson (Criminal Court Judge); Richie Beeler (Knox County Commission, District 8) and Carson Dailey (Knox County Commission, District 9) and Jason Zachary (Tennessee State House, District 14)

In his acceptance speech, Dailey said that his goals were simple but lofty for his district.

“I want to make South Knoxville better,” he said. “I want to make South Knoxville better today than yesterday and better tomorrow than it is today.”

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