Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs kicks off re-election campaign

By Bill Howard

Some 125 enthusiastic supporters of Knox Co. Mayor Glenn Jacobs were on hand last Thursday night when Jacobs officially kicked off his reelection campaign.

The event – staged by Chris Ooten, Mike Ragsdale, Scott Dunn, Steve Maddux, and Lou Browning – was held at The Pavilion at Hunter Valley Farms from 5-7 p.m. The sumptuous spread of food attendees dined on included beef tips, salmon, and chicken.

The Republican Jacobs was elected mayor of Knox Co. in 2018, replacing Tim Burchett, who is now in the U.S. House representing Tennessee’s 2nd Congressional District. A victory by Jacobs in the primary next May will put him on the ballot for the general election in August.

“Its a great night,” Jacobs said. “Glad everybody came out…just appreciate all the support.”

By all accounts, Jacobs’s reelection seems a strong likelihood in the red-leaning part of Knox Co. that’s outside the city limits. Jacobs was asked about what some think is the blue-ing of Knoxville inside the city limits.

“We are seeing more people move here,” Jacobs said. “I think the people who are moving here are doing so because of the values we have which are conservative values. I think we’re actually gonna see Knox Co. become more red going forward.”

Each attendee at the event was invited. Unsurprisingly, prominent Republicans from the city and county largely comprised the crowd.

Jacobs supporter John Huber is a real estate developer.

“He really is for Knox County and every resident,” said Huber. “That’s what I’ve always appreciated about Glenn. “He doesn’t back down from a fight. He stands up for what he believes in. He walks the walk.”

Huber said he wanted Jacobs in his second term to continue to “keep taxes low and the budget in line.”

Commenting on his first term, Jacobs mentioned finalizing the schools’ move to the TVA tower as an accomplishment. “It’s gonna save us money and give them a much better place,” he said.

He also cited movement on the “multi-purpose stadium downtown” – a venue for Knoxville Smokies baseball and other events – as well as “working on a mental health facility (McNabb Center) at the old St. Mary’s complex.”

Jacobs finds the differential response to the pandemic by the states to be very revealing. He’s unambiguous about which he thinks is better.

“What’s happening with the pandemic … it’s really differentiated between the red states and blue states,” Jacobs said. “Red states, we believe in freedom and individual liberty and the free enterprise system. Unfortunately the blue states have shut down. I think we’re gonna have an opportunity for great jobs coming to our area. I’m just interested in doing the best I can in this role.”

Jacobs was asked about his political aspirations after a second term, should he win one. He replied he didn’t yet know.

Several attendees were asked if they were aware of any names being considered as possible Democratic opposition. None yet knew of any.