Wright, McMillan Kick Off Campaigns

By David Klein

Local residents had nothing but high praise for District 8 Knox County Commission Chairman Dave Wright and District 8 School Board Representative Mike McMillan’s efforts in getting a Gibbs Middle School approved during a joint campaign kick off for the duo’s reelections last week.

Dale Hall praised Wright. “I think he was very helpful in the beginning. Dave just stayed after it,” she said. Hall is retired and has worked in T.V. news.

“We’re happy about the Gibbs Middle School,” echoed Martha Baker, a Gibbs High graduate. “It’s been needed — This has always been home.” She volunteers for the election commission and is retired from Western Union.

McMillan, a former teacher for 35 years in the Gibbs community, said the Gibbs Middle School is one of the focuses of the Knox Co. School Board. “We’ve got it approved; now we have to get it built. That will be the biggest thing in this next term,” he emphasized.

“These people have longed for 20 years to get their middle school back,” McMillan stressed. “They’re very appreciative,” he added.

Wright echoed McMillan’s sentiments on Gibbs Middle School and said getting the approval to build a Gibbs Middle School has been something he has been proud of during his time as county commissioner.  Wright said of the middle school, “the specifications have been developed by the Board of Education in conjunction with the Knox Co. Purchasing Division. The solicitation for bids may be put out on the street in the next two to three weeks.”

The event Thursday night hosted by Wright and McMillan lasted from five to seven p.m. Hot dogs were served as both men went around to tables and talked to local residents.

Wright won the 2010 election for Eighth District County Commissioner and is currently serving a six year term. He served a partial term as county commissioner from 2008-2010. The other commissioners chose him as Commission Chairman in September for one year.

McMillan served as a county commissioner from 1992-2006.  He served a partial school board term from 2010-2012 and is in his first four-year term.

Knox County Commission is made up of 11 commissioners with two at-large seats while there are nine Knox Co. School Board members.

Knoxville’s 8th District is made up of 13 precincts, which includes Gibbs, Corryton, Carter, Hills, Ft. Sumter, Sunnyview, Ramsey, Riverdale, Dora Kennedy, Ellistown, Ritta, Skaggston, and Thorngrove.

Hall emphasized the progress of the Eighth District. “I feel like we’re on a roll,” she said.  “The community is really moving forward,” she emphasized.

Wright praised the event. “It’s a tremendous turnout tonight because of so many things going on,” he said.” “It’s people dropping in and out and having a hotdog and a good time.”

Early voting begins February 10, and the primary is March 1, which includes the Presidential Primary. The general election is in August.