That might be one way to get your name in the paper. Performing a search of the Knoxville News Sentinel for candidate's name and office finds the following article counts:

Bill Haslam (R) 233
Zach Wamp (R) 194
Bill Gibbons (R) 122
Ron Ramsey (R) 102
Kim McMillan (D) 76
Mike McWherter (D) 70
Knox County Mayor:
Tim Burchett (R) 116
Tim Hutchison (R) 115
Lewis Cosby (I) 38
Michael McBath (D) 11
Ezra Maize (D) 10

For 'Ron Ramsey' included 'not lt.'
For 'Tim Hutchison' included 'not lawsuit'

Andy Axel's picture

Stacey Campfield - 107

Stacey Campfield - 107

R. Neal's picture

Randy Walker, Campfield's

Randy Walker, Campfield's likely Democratic opponent for State Senate: 10

R. Neal's picture

Oh, and I forgot the irony

Oh, and I forgot the irony part:

KNS Editorial: Knox Democrats not bothering to run

SnM's picture

Metro Pulse covers the Dems too


local party chair: "...the party is doing everything it normally does to support candidates during primaries..."

R. Neal's picture

Seems to me the numbers speak

Seems to me the numbers speak for themselves, and there's no other way to spin it.

SnM's picture


just posting links to stories that seemed relevant to the subject that happened to come out today.

R. Neal's picture

Just noting Scripps sudden

Just noting Scripps sudden interest in Democrats.

SnM's picture

just a guess

but I'd say today's interest coincided with Maize's presser.

I agree with Tamara's sentiments expressed below. The Sentinel did a couple more stories re: the Knox Democratic party's inability to field candidates for local elections and its apparent disconnect from those who are running as Democrats before the editorial you linked.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Guess I see it differently

Personally, I'm more indignant with the Knox County Democratic Party than with the KNS.

I think the "Dems not bothering to run" editorial is spot on, too.

R. Neal's picture

I think the "Dems not

I think the "Dems not bothering to run" editorial is spot on, too.

Which is the cause and which is the effect?

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I think the "cause" of the editoral is that qualified Dems are not, in fact, running.

If I may be pointed, I do not want a county mayor who lacks any local government experience, no matter his race.

I might accept a state senator who lacks that government experience (we have before), but I'm less likely to accept one who is presently a junior college student and therefore lacks both government experience and formal education just yet.

I feel that our candidates in these two races, in particular, have attempted to "start at the top."

I feel that the "cause" of too few Dems running is that the party undertook no local recruitment effort.

I can't admonish the KNS for the inevitable "effect," then, namely their editorial.

This Dem plans to vote in the Republican primary.

R. Neal's picture

I can't admonish the KNS for

I can't admonish the KNS for the inevitable "effect," then, namely their editorial.

Then you've missed the entire point of the original post. Go look at the numbers again.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Yes, I agree that in the gov's race the "Macs" have been slighted. I think Walker has been slighted, too. All these I perceive to be qualified candidates by virtue of their previous public service and/or their level of formal education. I didn't miss that point.

With regard to Dem candidates for the offices I mentioned, though, I'm less sure any slight has transpired. When I apply my same criteria of previous public service and/or level of formal education, they don't measure up.

I suppose it could be said that the decision of which criteria to apply in determing a candidate's qualification is a personal one (and maybe a subjective, too), so it's not for the KNS to decide.

Still, prior experience in government and level of education are oft-used measures in this regard.

Is your point that the KNS has "over-edited" their primary coverage for McBride and Maize, imposing on us (by way of omission) these criteria that may not be important to everybody?

(I never thought Diane Dozier was qualified for the Knox County School Board, either.)

R. Neal's picture

Back to the topic of the

Back to the topic of the post, is it just me or does there appear to be a lack of balance with regard to reporting on actual candidates who are running?

SnM's picture

can't speak to the state races

but yes, the preponderance of coverage in the mayor's race has been republican. burchett's been running for what? over a year? huthcison's been hinting at it for that long. cosby has been since, i think, last fall. burchett and hutchison are both known quantities promoted by the local party who are going to be sought out for quotes in a variety of contexts. edit: and they got money and machines.

the two democratic candidates, maize and mcbath, only joined the race this february, and despite what the local party chair says, it doesn't seem like there's much going on as far as promo.

so yes, there's a disparity. but there appear to be reasons for it, without attributing it a sinister motive.

R. Neal's picture

Speaking for the state races,

Speaking for the state races, McMillan was, I believe, first to declare.

As for the local races, yes, when it appeared nobody was going to step up a couple of Dems did. Seems like that would be news, if for no other reason than it would sell papers.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Randy, your footnote said your search filtered out lawsuit-related stuff regarding Hutchison and Lt. Governor-related stuff regarding Ramsey?

WRT others in the gov's race, did you also filter out Knoxville mayor-related stuff regarding Haslam and ET Senate district-related stuff regarding Wamp? If not, I'm thinking we could reasonably expect to see more local coverage on Haslam and Wamp due to their proximity?

Our attention would then focus more on why the (narrower) gaps between Gibbons & Ramsey as compared to McMillan & McWherter, which I agree are still notable?

WRT our mayoral candidates, I checked out Scott's assertion as to who filed when and he's right that Burchett and Hutchison have been definites longest. I also wondered if some of Hutchison's coverage included not "lawsuit" stuff, but possibly some "bankruptcy" stuff not filtered out?

Petition turn-in dates look like this:

Burchett(R) 11/30/09
Cosby (I) 2/2/10
Hutchison (R) 1/9/10
Maize (D) 2/16/10
McBath (D) 2/8/10

EC's candidate list: (link...)

I don't know who in hell would want the volume/type of coverage Campfield (deservedly) gets and I'm not sure whether Walker has yet collected all his signatures?

The longer I look at underlying rationales for those counts, the less alarmed I am overall, really.

Am I missing anything big?

Tamara Shepherd's picture


Does anyone know if Dems approached Sam McKenzie regarding the mayor's race?

I'd think he's the strongest candidate Dems could have offered, what with experience in city, county and federal government, as well as experience in private industry (I think I heard)? Sam has the education, the charm, and the suits, too.

I'd expect that finding another Dem in that First District race wouldn't have been too difficult, either?

Did we at least try???

Bbeanster's picture

you are right. Sam is smart.

You are right. Sam is smart. So why would he want to give up a sure thing (his commission seat) for a kamikaze mission?

Tamara Shepherd's picture


The potential for automatic payraises linked to the legislature's increases in judicial salaries?

glostik's picture

If we want Democrats to run

If we want Democrats to run and win, we will all have to step up. Ragsdale ran unopposed two times. That means there was no democratic candidate for eight years. Until Ezra and Michael stepped up, it would have happened again.

In part, this is due to a feeling among some Democrats that we cannot win county wide races. This is not only unfortunate, it is also wrong. In the current climate of our county government, there has never been a better time for a Democrat to win county wide.

Speaking from my experience over the last year, many people worked to recruit candidates for all races. While we successfully found some candidates (who won, by the way), there were many reasons potential candidates were unwilling or unable to run. One reason, but by no means the only one, is the party is fighting the perception from the past as being a party that does not support candidates. Whether or not that perception is valid doesn't really matter. We want to erase it. We are working hard to assist every democratic candidate who asks for our help. Frankly, the mayor's race was really difficult because the Tim's have essentially been running for over a year. They had their war chest and their supporters earlier than most supporters. Which, btw, is why we are stepping up and looking out 4 years from now.

During the primary the candidates build their teams and raise their funds and the party gives support and direction to all candidates who ask for it. Once the voters have chosen the democratic candidate, we fully support that candidate with trained volunteers and new technology. This makes a difference and we are constantly improving the technology and the organizational tools to make more and more candidates successful.

But we don't "choose" candidates and we certainly don't "anoint" them. It takes quite a bit of effort, money, and expertise to run a successful campaign. More than anything, it takes tremendous work on the part of the candidate. You have to want to win. The party can't create that kind of motivation. In many ways, recruiting candidates has less to do with the KCDP and more to do with an overall culture of support and commitment from everyone who wants to see change. Which is why I opened with "If we want Democrats to win, we will all have to step up".

This means the press has to fairly and equally report the candidates and point out the differences (which gets to Randy's original post). It also means supporting candidates with your dimes, dollars and door knocking.

I am not saying the party can't do better -- we always can. And we welcome constructive ideas. Our committees are open and we welcome everyone's help. This can be formal or informal, suggestive or corrective. And I would like to thank those candidates who have taken on the task of running for office and look forward to working with each and every one.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I object to the suggestion that it is the responsibility of rank and file Dems to recruit qualified candidates for office. This is the responsibility of Dems' elected party leaders.

I also disagree that our elected Dem party leaders be allowed to squirm out of that responsibility by suggesting that recruiting candidates should be likened to "anointing" them. When potential candidates are queried early enough, rank and file Dems have adequate opportunity to get to know them and to choose whom they'll support. And when potential candidates are queried early enough, they, too, can build "war chests" in advance of their races.

I also strongly object to Dem party leaders' failure to address this problem of certain Dem candidates repeatedly trying to run for office from districts in which they cannot meet our county's length of residency requirements per local law, or else from districts where they do not and have not lived at all.

In my KnoxViews inbox right now is a private message from a Dem maintaining that this local law does not apply to the upcoming election because the charter indicates (at Article II, Section 2.03 (C)) that “no person shall be eligible to serve as a member of the Commission unless that person…is a resident of, and a registered voter in, the district from which such person seeks election on the date he/she filed his/her nominating petition and has been a resident of both the County and the district for one (1) year prior to such person's election; provided, however, that the district residency requirement shall not apply in the first general election at which Commission seats appear on the ballot following any reapportionment or redistricting of Commission districts.”

Do Dem party leaders actually believe that with the re-drawing of commission district lines every ten years, a county wide free-for-all is permitted, such that anyone living anywhere for any length of time may run from wherever s/he chooses?!

Obviously, this clause is to ensure that a candiate who DOES NOT MOVE can still run from his/her new district, even though he may not have been part of it for a full year. That is, when the line moves, but the candidate does not, it is not fair to preclude the candidate from running from his new district.

Why, then, have Dem party leaders allowed this to happen—in the upcoming election and in too many previous ones?

When I reflect on the dismal level of Dem representation on this upcoming local ballot—and on the utter lack of qualification among our too few candidates, too—and when I couple that realization with my concern that our party sanctions not only mediocrity but criminality, as well, I have no appetite whatsoever for supporting such a confederacy of dunces with either my toil or my money.

Please consider this my formal written resignation from my posts as secretary to Sixth District Democrats and as Precinct 63 North Chair.

(And no damn body at the KNS is screwing Dems. Dems are screwing themselves.)

bill young's picture

Rome wasn't built in a Day

The Democrats do have incumbents..both on County Commission & in county wide offices.

So,yes,the Democrats do win elections,in Knox County.

And I'm pleased that Sam McKenzie will be elected to the 1st district county commission 6 year term.And to be honest I've never talked to Sam about seeking another office.We were concerned about winning re election..& nothing else!

The truth is,the Democratic Party,like the Republican Party..had some pretty bruising internal fights, during term limits turmoil.I admit I was guilty of getting a little heated during that time.But those days are gone..time to look foward.

Gloria has done an outstanding job of making it clear to all of us..that was then..this now.Gloria's about the future.

And it's not just Gloria..there are a ton of folks working tirelessly for the Knox County Democratic Party.

The new Knox County Democratic Headquarters is just one example of many that point to a strong viable Party.

And the phone calls & activity created out of the Headquarters to help pass the Health Care bill was nothing short of awesome!

I'm so pleased to hear our Chair talk about the next election.Because that's where the rubber mets the road.

Today builds for a brighter tomorrow.

Rome wasn't built in a day & neither will the Knox County Democratic Party.

But brick by brick..Rome was built.

And Gloria Johnson is building our Party..brick by brick..for a strong vibrant Knox County Democratic Party.

I thank Gloria for her leadership.

Bill Young

Tamara Shepherd's picture


I'm so pleased to hear our Chair talk about the next election.Because that's where the rubber mets the road.

The "next election" is on May 4, Bill, in just 36 days.

Sorry you didn't get the memo.

Tamara Shepherd's picture


The truth is,the Democratic Party,like the Republican Party..had some pretty bruising internal fights, during term limits turmoil.I admit I was guilty of getting a little heated during that time.

And it wasn't just in 2010 and 2006 that this well-oiled "recruitment machine" of ours stripped some gears.

The 2008 election was when the former Dem party chair chose to "recruit" his brother to run from the Eighth District, in spite of the fact that local property tax records clearly indicated that not only had the brother not lived in that district for one year, he hadn't even built any house there at that point.

Then there was the 2004 election, when three Dem officeholders--Mark Cawood, Robert Bratton, and Chuck James--took it upon themselves to "recruit" for my Third District school board race A REPUBLICAN LIVING IN THE FIFTH DISTRICT. There was a lawsuit then, too, if you'll recall.

2004, 2006, 2008, 2010--anybody else see a pattern here?!

bill young's picture

"4 years out"

I should not of posted next election..should have posted 4 years out.

gonzone's picture

Just OneThing

Damn liberal media!

SnM's picture


All Parties Equally Mockable Says Democratic Mayoral Candidate
"Where only one political party is satirized, no political party is truly satirized," says candidate Ezra Maize

From APB reports.
KNOXVILLE - A Democratic Knox County mayoral candidate wants the public to know his party isn't ceding the laughs to high-profile Republicans.

Ezra Maize, who's running against Michael McBath for the Democratic nomination, said Monday voters are being short-changed by what he perceives to be an almost exclusive focus on the laughs generated by the GOP primary race between Tim Burchett and Tim Hutchison.

"The people of this county deserve the opportunity - please hear my punch line - the people of this county deserve the opportunity to experience a well-rounded campaign that displays the viewpoints of every candidate," Maize said solemnly at a noon press conference in Market Square. "Hah! Was that a thigh-slapper or what? Nah, I'm pulling your leg. I know Knox Countians don't care about candidates' viewpoints. At most, they're interested in their sound bites and maybe if they look good in a suit. All Knox Countians really demand is an opportunity to experience a well-mocked campaign that offers equal opportunity to satirize every candidate."

He then performed a monologue.

"I am a Democrat," he began. "Hath not a Dem funny lines? Hath not a donkey hoofs, withers, ears, temper tantrums, affectations, mule-headedness; fed from the same public trough, hurt with the same truths, subject to the same temptations, bought by the same means, as a Republican is? If you kick us, do we not pratfall? If you tickle our funny bone, do we not get a charlie horse? If you heckle us, do we not bomb? If you spoof us, do we not get more attention, equal to that of the Republicans? And if you laugh at us, do we not want an encore? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. We can be burlesqued, same as the elephant in the room..."

adanovi's picture

It goes on

"Yes, I know the Knox County Democratic Party is like the phantom of the glass opera house - always home and never noticed unless he throws rocks to get your attention," said Maize. "And even then - well, he's still a phantom, and so he mostly goes unnoticed. People just notice holes appearing in the house and wonder if the foundation's cracking. But that's the Knox County Democratic Party, not the Knox County Democratic mayoral candidates. Well, I am a Democratic mayoral candidate, and I am throwing rocks in the Democratic Party's glass opera house. Not that I would actually throw rocks in a glass house, I mean it as a metaphor, but you take my point, which is...where was I?"

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