Jul 26 2022
03:18 pm

To begin with, this letter is strictly my opinion. Furthermore, I cannot claim to be an impartial observer of the 3rd District County Commission race. I serve as the interim Representative of the Knox County Democratic Party for that district. Contrary to an article in Tennessee Lookout, I am not Stuart Hohl’s campaign manager, nor have I been paid for helping his campaign. However, my daughter, Hannah Mackay, is his campaign manager and is paid through her company, Mackay Consulting.

Randy Smith, the current Commissioner, is term limited. Smith served with distinction. I think he would be a strong contender to just about any office he chose to run for in the future.

Last year a few of us Democrats looked at the numbers and the demographics and decided that the 3rd District was ready to elect a Democrat. Stuart Hohl emerged as the choice.
He works as a manager in the video production industry, is married to a music teacher and has a son, John. He came here to go to the university. He says he decided to stay here because he fell in love with three things: Knoxville, the Tennessee Vols, and his wife, Hilary.
He is an interesting fellow, more of a problem solver than a politician. He has never been involved in politics, with either party. Smart, curious, and well intentioned, he has an incredible ability to connect with people. He will make a good Commissioner.
Unlike his opponent, Stuart realized that the role of a County Commissioner is to work together, across party lines, to solve local problems. He advocates focusing on improving our public schools. As he campaigned, he learned that the Third District has too few County parks, greenways, or recreational facilities. The County, unlike the city, doesn’t even have a greenway committee. Stuart supports effective government. He sees no point in involving county government in symbolic ideological battles. While knocking on thousands of doors he has heard over and over again from voters who are tired of the divisive and angry rhetoric that defines today’s political discourse.

Stuart’s opponent presents a clear choice. This is her 5th time on the ballot without ever being elected to anything. At the beginning of her campaign, she stated the reason she was running was to “stop the Washington liberals from taking over our area”. Now she has switched reasons and claims to want to “work together to solve local problems” (sound familiar?).
She has a long history of divisiveness on various political boards at the Courthouse. The best know was the Merit Board “gas card” issue that is so complex and intertwined with local political cliques that it cannot be explained in a few short paragraphs. Basically, she voted to give one of her political allies a taxpayer funded car and gas card. This drew the ire of our popular Sheriff.
This and other politically motivated complaints dragged on for some time and resulted in the Merit Board, which she chairs, running up outside legal fees to the tune of $479.122 paid for by you and me, the taxpayers.
She was a supporter of the “Stop the Steal” efforts, which I think have been entirely discredited. She even tried to overturn her own defeat to Eddie Mannis when she ran unsuccessfully for State Representative. She was ultimately unable to provide any evidence of fraud and her challenge was thrown out.
A quick look at her Facebook page shows a recurring theme “Vote for me, I’m a Republican”. Yet we have found a surprising fact. Prominent Republicans, lions, and lionesses of the party do not support her. It is not my place to reveal any names, but Stuart has bipartisan support the likes of which I have not seen since the days of Tommy Schumpert.

When this campaign began very few gave him a chance. Stuart was a decided underdog. Now the conventional wisdom is that the race is tightening. I believe we are seeing an upset in the making. I generally try to follow Yogi Berra who said, “I never make predictions, especially about the future”. But in this case, I predict that Stuart Hohl will prevail and be elected the next 3rd District County Commissioner.

bizgrrl's picture

Thanks. Sounds like an

Thanks. Sounds like an excellent candidate. Wish I could vote for him.

Mike Daugherty's picture

Hopefully, Democrats,

Hopefully, Democrats, Independents, and a lot of Republicans in the 3rd district will recognize that Hohl is the best person to represent the 3rd district.

County Commission should be a nonpartisan election along with School Board and most local offices. Hohl would represent the district well without the petty partisanship or mindless attitude his opponent has shown.

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