Jackie Raley kicks off campaign for property assessor

By Ken Lay

A lifelong public servant is seeking elected office for the first time.

Jackie Raley is running for Knox County Property Assessor in next year’s election. She’s seeking to replace John Whitehead, who is term-limited after serving eight years in office.

The first-time candidate appears to have a bevy of support as she opposes one-time Knox County Property Assessor Phil Ballard.

“This is the first time that I’ve ever run for anything. I consider myself a true public servant,” Raley said Wednesday at a kickoff event to announce her candidacy at Calhoun’s on the River. “I’m not a politician.”

A packed banquet hall of supporters, including Whitehead, Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs and former Knoxville City Councilman Nick Pavlis, were on hand to show their support for Raley, who has served as Knox County Chief Deputy Property Assessor since 2016. In that position, she’s relished the opportunity to work for Knox County and its residents.

“I’m running because I’m passionate about public service,” Raley said. “I’m very, very excited to be running and I’m honored to work for the citizens of Knox County.”

Public service is nothing new for Raley, who was a longtime regular at Central High School football and basketball games as the school’s cheerleading coach.

“I was in public service as a cheer coach at Central for a decade,” she said.

Like anyone seeking public office, Raley needs support from her family. She has that support from her husband, Johnny.

“Johnny has been really supportive,” she said.

But if she’s elected, she said that nothing would change for her as she’ll continue to work at the same office.

“I’m a hard worker and I have a great work ethic,” Raley said. “I expect people to come to work on time and I’ll get there early.

“I won’t ask anybody to do anything that I won’t do.”