Garrett Holt holds fundraiser at West Knoxville bistro

By Ken Lay

Garrett Holt knows that his quest for a seat on the Knox County Commission is a tireless team effort.

Holt won the recent Republican Primary and has now turned his attention to the general election, which will be held on Aug. 1. He’ll face Democrat Shane Jackson for the District 4 seat, which is being vacated by Kyle Ward, who opted not to seek re-election.

“I just want to thank everyone for coming out tonight,” Holt said at a fundraiser at the Phoenix Room at Bistro By The Tracks Tuesday night. “I couldn’t do this without all of you.

“It’s a group effort and I have a great team. We won the primary a couple of months ago and we have a lot of work ahead. You can often find me hiking around and knocking on doors. I’ve been in 11,000 households since I started in October. It’s a full grassroots effort.”

Holt has spent the majority of his life in the Knoxville area. He wants to keep the area special for its residents.

“I’ve spent most of my life in Knoxville and Knox County and the biggest thing for me is ‘How do we keep this special?’” he said. “I see what we have now. And the biggest rule of leadership is to leave something better than you found it.

“I want us to look back in 10, 15 or 20 years, and I want us to look back and say that we still have this special place.”

The seat has been traditionally held by Republicans, but Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs cautioned against voter apathy and complacency, which he said has plagued the party’s voters in recent elections.

“If you want to keep Knoxville and Knox County the special place that it is, you have to elect people like Garrett,” said Jacobs, who was the event keynote speaker. “People are moving here. They’re coming because this is a special place, but you have to get out and vote. When I was elected in 2018, I won 63 (percent)-37 (percent). When I won re-election, I lost eight points and won, 55-45. The Democrats are good at organizing and good at getting their voters out to vote.”

Jacobs made his appearance one day after giving his State of the County Address. After his remarks, he met with executives from Green Tech, which is coming to Knoxville.

“After I gave my State of the County Address, where we had an invocation and we had the Pledge of Allegiance, I met with executives of Green Tech, and they were surprised that we actually still did those things,” Jacobs said. “And they said that was the reason, they wanted to come here.”