By Mike Steely
Early voting starts Wednesday, April 13 and runs through Thursday, April 28. This Knox County Primary has a huge number of offices on the ballot, everything from all judges down to school board races.
The ballot has some 34 contests and much of the interest is on the Republican Primary and the race between incumbent Sheriff Tom Spangler and former Sheriff J. J. Jones. The Democratic Primary Ballot has interesting races including three candidates asking for their party’s selection to oppose incumbent Republican Mayor Glenn Jacobs. Those Democrats are Bob Fischer, Tyler Givens and Debbie Hensley.
The District 1 school board race has two Democrats on the primary ballot and no Republican opponent, so whichever candidate wins will go on to be the new school board member. The candidates are John Butler and Charles Frazier.
The Republican Primary is more competitive with two people, Nicholas Ciparro and Gina Oster, running to replace term-limited Randy Smith on Knox County Commission District 3. Three party candidates oppose each other to replace term-limited Charles Busler in county commission District 7. They are Rhonda Lee, Allen Merritt and Chuck Severance.
Incumbent Commissioner At-Large, Larsen Jay, has a fellow Republican, Steve Weiner, trying to unseat him. Whoever is victorious goes on to face Democrat Dylan Earley in the general election.
Commissioner At-Large Justin Biggs isn’t seeking re-election on commission but is running to replace Ed Shouse as Trustee but faces Richard Jacobs in the Republican Primary.
Former Law Director Richard “Bud” Armstrong faces incumbent Chancellor Part II District incumbent Clarence “Eddie” Pridemore and R. Deno Cole in that race.
Interim Sessions Judge Division II Judd Davis faces Sharon Frankenberg in Republican Primary, both vying to replace Judge Geoffrey Emery who retired recently.
School board races are partisan this year and on the Republican side, Sherri Grant and Steve Triplett want to replace Patti Bounds as the 7th District member. Bounds decided not to seek re-election. Also on the Republican ballot is incumbent District 9 member Kristi Kristy who is challenged for the nomination by Phil King.
Early voters may choose any of the early places to vote and are limited to races within their districts and those races which are county-wide offices. May 3 is the main primary election date and voters will then be voting in their designated precinct.
Tennessee voters must indicate which party primary they will be voting in.
Early voting is generally 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. until 5 pm. on Saturdays. Early voting locations include the City-County Building, Eternal Life Harvest Center, Downtown West, New Harvest Park, Meridian Baptist Church South, Knoxville Expo Center, Farragut Town Hall, Carter Senior Center, Halls Recreation Center and Karns Senior Center.