Democrats encouraged despite losses because they outperformed Biden

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Knox County Democrats played a strategic role in having candidates Thursday’s electionsworked hard and raised money, but won only one competitive race in Republican-rich Knox County.

Yet they are encouraged because the candidates outperformed, which means the percentage of votes they received was higher than what the president Joe Biden obtained in 2020.

“Across the country, very few people outperform Biden. With us moving the needle even further in a midterm election, that’s pretty impressive,” Matt Shearsthe Knox County Democratic Chairman said Friday.

Democrats did not field candidates in every race, but deemed those who ran qualified, they said. However, Daniel HerraraKnox County Republican Chairman, took it as a dropout that left the vast majority of races unopposed, for which he “thanked” them.

GOP election party guests watch the election results at Crowne Plaza in Knoxville on August 4, 2022.

The only race won by a Democrat in which there was a Republican nominee was the race for the 4th School District, a politically mixed area. Democrat Katherine Bikea trial tech specialist, beat the Republican Will Edwardstax lawyer, to succeed Virginia Babb, who did not seek re-election. Babb said she opposes partisan school board elections, which were held in Knox County this year for the first time in decades.

Edwards was considerably better funded, having $51,819 in the bank at the end of the last reporting period, which ended July 25. Bike had $11,555, according to a financial disclosure.

Democrats also won the 1st District School Board Race with the success of Reverend Dr. John Butler, former president of the Knoxville branch of the NAACP and longtime regional vice president of the civil rights organization. He succeeds Evety Satterfield, who did not seek re-election. No Republicans ran, although Butler defeated two independents, Breyauna Holloway and Reginald Jackson.

Get all the results:Find out who Knox County voters elected in the 2022 races

The flagship race for Democrats was for county mayor. Incumbent Republican Glenn Jacobs beat democrat Debbie Helsley, a longtime labor organizer, by a margin of 55% to 45%. Shears said it was a 12-point change from when Jacobs defeated the Democrat Linda Haney Four years ago.

“I am grateful to be trusted to serve another four years as Mayor of Knox County,” Jacobs said in a statement released Friday. “It’s already the best place to live, work and raise a family, and the decisions we make moving forward are what can help us have the best possible future.

Josh Knight prepares to vote with his son, Eli, at South-Doyle High School on Election Day in Knoxville on August 4.

“The turnout this year played a big part in the race results – a lot of them were very close. And while the common trope is that votes don’t matter, nothing could be further from the truth in local elections. Local elections are where the most important decisions are made,” he said.

A closely watched race was that of the judge of the Court of Sessions, Division 1, held by the incumbent Republican Chuck Cerny. He was re-elected by beating the Democrat Sarah Keith 55-45%. Keith had to leave his position as a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office because the incumbent Allen charm has a rule that staff members cannot run against incumbents.

Allen defeated the Democrat Jackson Fenner 59-41% for another eight-year term.

District 9 Democratic Board of Education candidate Annabel Henley, right, and Knox County Democratic Party Chairman Matt Shears review the election results as they arrive at the Democratic County Watch Party in Knox County Knox in Redbud Kitchen during the Knox County general election in Knoxville on August 4.  Voters voted in state and federal elections, including representatives to Congress.

One Republican victory that Democrats were happy to see was that of Elaine Davis, a former Democrat who became very active in the Knox County GOP. She beat the Knoxville councilwoman Janet Testerman for nomination to represent the seat of the 18th district house released by the state representative. Eddie Mannisa Republican, and faces a Democrat Gregory Kaplanprofessor of humanities at the University of Tennessee, during the November 8 general election.

“Elaine is too extreme for District 18,” Shears replied when asked which of the two candidates the Democrats would have liked to see win the nomination.

Herrara said Republicans are looking forward to November and future county races.

“The Democratic Party should really ask itself how its leadership continues to frustrate its candidates in Knox County,” he said in a statement. He also said that by all available measures and indicators, “our Knox County Republican Party Executive Council has completely (exceeded) all expectations and all previous efforts by far.”

In other major elections, former Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison made a sort of comeback. He beat the holder Scott Smith for the 5th District race for the Tennessee Republican Executive Committee by a 68–32% margin.

political blogger Brian Hornback was re-elected to the 6th District position on the state GOP Executive Committee by defeating Sam Maynard and Randy Pace.

UPDATES ON BIDEN NOMINATIONS AFFECTING EASTERN TENNESSEE:

Joe H.Ritch of Huntsville, Alabama, was nominated by Biden for the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority, filling a vacancy that arose during the transition from that of Donald Trump presidency in 2021. Ritch served on the board of directors of TVA during the presidency of Barack Obama and served as chairman of the board of directors of TVA.

Voters fill out their ballots on Election Day at West Haven Elementary School in Knoxville on August 4.

Ritch practices law at Dentons Sirote PC, with a focus on government contracts, corporate law and tax law. He is a system administrator emeritus at the University of Alabama and has served on various boards primarily related to technology, aerospace, and defense, as well as nonprofit boards. lucrative, including the Alabama School for Cyber ​​Technology and Engineering Foundation.

Biden named four other people to the nine-member board. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on April 6 Beth Pritchard-Geer of Brentwood; Robert P.Klein from Memphis; and L. Michelle Moore of Richmond, Va., but no further action has yet been taken.

On June 3, he appointed Adam Wade Whiteexecutive judge of Lyon County in Kentucky, and William J. “Bill” Renickformer mayor of Ashland, Mississippi and chairman of the Commission on the Future of Northeast Mississippi.

The political speculation is that all five nominees will advance as a whole, although it’s not guaranteed to go smoothly. At the April 6 hearing, Sen. Joni ErnstR-Iowa, made it clear that she would not support Geer based on comments she made in an old tweet.

Casey T. Arrowood, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, was nominated by Biden to become the district’s U.S. attorney. The position is being filled on an interim basis by Francis M. (Trey) Hamilton IIIfirst appointed by the United States Attorney General Merrick Garland then by judges of the United States District Court in April. Hamilton succeeded Doug Overbeywho was appointed by Trump.

Arrowood has been with the Eastern District Office since 2018. He previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina and an attorney with the Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Controls Section. National Department of Justice. He received his JD degree from Georgetown University Law Center and holds a BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He’s a US Army veteran.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs is seen on Election Day in Knox County outside Farragut High School on August 4.  Jacobs was reelected to his second term.

HOW THEY VOTED: United States meaning of Tennessee. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty reversed and voted for a bill improving health care disability benefits for millions of veterans exposed to toxic combustion fireplaces, after being part of a Republican group that derailed the legislation on what most media say is a technical solution. In a previous vote, they had supported the measure.

The delay enraged veteran bands and the comedian Jon Stewartwho protested in Washington, DC, until the Senate passed the bill.

representing Tim Burchet of Knoxville voted for the bill in the House, where it passed 256-174. Representatives. Chuck FleischmanOoltewah and Diana Harshbarger, Kingsport, voted no. All are Republicans.

Area Republicans were among those opposing sweeping legislation that passed U.S. House 218-199 and would increase firefighter pay and benefits, build resilience and mitigation projects for communities affected by climate change, protect watersheds and provide easier access for victims of federal fires. assistance. Burchett, Fleischmann and Harshbarger voted against on July 29. This bill is now going to the Senate.

Georgiana Vines is a retired associate editor of News Sentinel. She can be contacted at [email protected]

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