Here are the rest of the News Sentinel's County Commission endorsements, and their endorsement for School Board. No surprise on their endorsement of H. Lee Martin for School Board. There were a few interesting endorsements for County Commission, though.

For South Knox 9th district seat A, they endorse possibly term-limited (who knows at this point?) Larry Clark over Steve McGill. I don't get this at all. Larry Clark may be ineligible. Steve McGill is a good guy, would bring new blood to the Commission, and there wouldn't be any question about his eligibility.

Yet for South Knox 9th district seat B, they endorse Martin Pleasant over the well-known Paul Pinkston and his powerful South Knox political machine. A pleasant surprise, so to speak, because Pleasant seems like a good guy, too. But it doesn't seem consistent with their pick for 9-A. In one case they go for the status-quo Republican, and in another they go for a Green Party candidate? Go figure.

They also endorse possibly term-limited (again, who knows?) John R. Mills.

Presumably their endorsements are based on who they think is the best candidate among those on the ballot, despite having to operate within the vacuum of not knowing if they eligible. But it's almost as if the KNS wants the County Commission to appoint replacements for term-limited candidates if that's the ruling once it gets sorted out in court. Over and over, the message seems to be let the adults take care of it and don't worry your pretty little heads about it. No wonder turnout is so low.

Up Goose Creek's picture

9th district

Did the KNS endorse Kiger in the primary? This could be the result of Kiger throwing his support to Pleasant. But then to make nice they throw the Clarkston camp a bone in the form of a Clark endorsement. It is disappointing to see endorsements for term limited candidates.

Then again, they may have endorsed Marty Pleasant because he is by far and away the better candidate.

Steve McGill's picture

Hi Randy,

Hi Randy,

Steve McGill here. I've been following your blog and really appreciate your endorsement of my campaign (Knox County Commission, 9th district, Seat A).

I too am quite surprised with the KNS endorsement of Larry Clark but, the more I see of the KNS website, the less impressed I am with them. I don't believe they've done a good job of keeping voters informed.

For example, they don't bring up the issue that Mr. Clark is still term-limited and when the State Supreme Court rules on this, if the charter is indeed found valid, he will be booted out.

Frank Cagle covered this very well - including potential outcome - in his article in the MetroPulse 2 weeks ago (I wonder why Frank left the District 9 race out of his article).

I invite those 9th District voters that visit your website to also visit the KNS election site and listen to the editorial board podcasts for both Mr. Clark and me and decide for themselves. (While there, take a moment to visit my blog)

Mr. Clark references his support of the FOP in his interview and supports putting the benefits issue up for a referendum vote. He says "You can't go wrong if you let the people decide." It seems he doesn't share that same philosophy when it comes to term limits and the will of the voters.

Also of interest... during the first Knox County Charter review meeting, when John Schmid made the motion to fix the charter to implement term limits in time for this election cycle, only three commissioners voted in favor of this motion -- this takes character. Mr. Clark did not vote in favor of this motion.

Being a life-long educator, Mr. Clark surely understands the importance of a "teachable moment" (opportunity to teach a lesson). He passed on that opportunity when he did not vote to fix the charter.

I stand for good fiscal policy, solid education, and a common sense approach to government. Standards I learned as a Marine - duty, honor, integrity, and attention to detail - are the standards I will adhere to when serving on Commission. And, I pledge to serve no more than two terms if elected.

I will be on the Lloyd Dougherty show tomorrow at 9 a.m. (Southern Roots Radio, 1180 WVLZ/1120 WKCE Knoxville/Maryville on the AM dial) and I invite you and all the others reading this to call in (546-2148) to discuss term limits or any other issue on your mind. You can also listen online by going to (link...)

Thanks again for your support and I look forward to hearing more from you!

I encourage everyone to get out and vote in the upcoming election (early vote until July 29 and election day Thursday, Aug 3). To those who vote in Knox County 9th District feel free to contact me at 414-3497 or visit my website and send an email.

Rachel's picture

The KNS did endorse

The KNS did endorse Kiger.  They clearly realize Pinkston is a disaster (BTW, he even declined to do an interview with the editorial board).

I too am surprised by the Clark endorsement.  Larry's a nice guy, but he has let himself be led around by the nose by both Pinkstons.  Plus he's term limited, and I believe will be ruled ineligible to serve.

Anybody in the 9th district looking for solid, thoughtful representation should vote for McGill and Pleasant.  I will.

Factchecker's picture

Just curious, gem. What

Just curious, gem.  Would you care to elaborate on what has been so bad about Pinkston, relative to the norm for GOP KnoxGOBs?  I'd like to know since it's my district.  Thanks.

Rachel's picture

Paul Pinkston - where to

Paul Pinkston - where to start?

He killed the deal to sell Old South High to Leigh Burch, who was going to put condos in it.  This was after the School Board surplused the building to the county.  A citizen task force had worked for three years to find a use for the building, and sheparded the thing through the School Board and the County RFP process.  He said he never heard about any of that.  That's either a lie, or he's so completely uninformed about his district as to be criminally ignorant.  Now a historic Charles Barber building will sit there until it falls down or burns down.  What could have been an asset for the neighborhood is a dangerous eyesore.

He acts like the part of his district inside the city limits doesn't exist.  Example - when he ran 4 years ago, five city neighborhood organizations got together to hold a candidate forum at Ijams.  He refused to show up.

He is on the South Waterfront Oversight Committee, but has yet to attend a single meeting of that body, or any of the public meetings.  Yet he tried to take credit for the effort at a meeting of the south Knox Republicans.

He is just plain mean.  I don't know how many times I've seen him treat constituents with horrible disrespect.

The spouse says he's the worst possible combination - arrogant and stupid.  I think that about sums it up.

Time for Change, West Knoxville's picture

Martin Endorsement

Interesting how the KNS believes a candidate that sends his children to private school deserves to be on the public school board!

KNS endorsement
Endorsed by 2 term limited commissioners
Mike Arms is the Treasurer for his campaign

This smells bad to me folks!

Up Goose Creek's picture

School board

Well it could mean the guy thinks our school system really needs improvement. Would you vote for a candidate who's happy with the status quo?

Sure I'd prefer a candidate who'd had their kids in school and has been working from within but that isn't a dealbreaker.

Oren Incandenza's picture

A vote for Martin is a vote to return to the dark ages.

If you're looking for a valid reason to vote against Martin, how about this: he freely admits that he advocates teaching creationism.  Why aren't more people debating this facet of his platform?  (See my new post for more.)

"It's Pit Pat! The magical, pansexual, non-threatening spokesthing!" -- Mr. Show

Up Goose Creek's picture


Now that would be a dealbreaker. No, actually I could live with creationism being taught in a philosophy class or comparative religions but not in a science class. Thanks for bringing that to our attention.

Actually the most valid reason I won't vote for Martin is he's not in my district.

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