By Steve Hunley

Knox Countians have a big responsibility in picking two county-wide Commissioners At Large in the current primary election.  Bob Thomas, who is running for Seat 10, has no opposition and is as good as elected.  The other At Large seat is a race for Seat 11 between Ed Brantley and Michele Carringer.  Our pick is Ed Brantley.

Ed Brantley, now retired, was in the broadcasting business for so long in Knoxville that he has better name recognition than most politicians and, unlike his opponent,  he is NOT a politician.  Ed Brantley is running for all the right reasons, the biggest of which is his genuine desire to serve our community and always do what is right.

Michele Carringer has already served once on the County Commission via an appointment to finish the term of a commissioner who had been ousted. When going through the appointment process by the commission and in order to get commissioners’ votes for the appointment, she promised  that she would be a caretaker to finish out the term to which she was appointed. Instead, she did exactly the opposite and ran in the next regular election. The result was she was badly beaten inside her own district.

Now Carringer is running county-wide and seems to be one of those politicians who will say or do anything just to get elected.  Recently, as an example, Carringer sent out a mailer to the Gibbs community telling folks she would fight hard for a new Gibbs Middle School.  This is an issue near and dear to my heart and still is. I live in the Gibbs community and I’ve been working with a lot of other folks for a new Gibbs Middle School for well over twenty years and this is the first I ever heard that Michele Carringer even knew where the Gibbs community is.  I have never seen Carringer at any of the hundreds of Gibbs Middle School meetings that I have attended over the past 27 years. While Ms. Carringer says she will fight hard for a new Gibbs Middle School in a recent slick political mailing, I doubt her word is worth more than the one that she gave to the County Commission when seeking the aforementioned interim appointment. This is nothing more than political pandering at its worst. Also, someone needs to tell Carringer that she isn’t running for the School Board.

Knox Countians need and deserve a Commissioner who will keep a promise once it’s made.  Furthermore, only the Knox County Board of Education will decide if there’s a new Gibbs Middle School.  While support from the Knox County Commission will be helpful, I don’t believe anybody would fight harder than Ed Brantley for all of Knox County, including the Gibbs community.

Anyone can make a promise; keeping it is a different matter. I have known Ed Brantley for over 35 years and I know him to be a man of his word.  Michele Carringer has demonstrated  through pandering to the Gibbs community that  she will say or promise anything just to get elected.  That’s precisely what’s wrong with politics in this country today.

Knox Countians need and deserve a Commissioner-At-Large who will be a strong independent voice for all the people, not merely special interests.  Knox Countians need and deserve a Commissioner who is qualified. Ed Brantley will be that commissioner. In fact. there was a time when officeholders were respected and Ed Brantley is the kind of man one can believe in; he is a man of his word.  He deserves our vote.