McIntyre supporter comes after Armstrong 

Betty Bean
Government/Politics columnist

There are no exclamation points on the email that went out to several dozen A-list recipients the day after James McIntyre announced his resignation as superintendent of Knox County Schools. But its author, Cornerstone Foundation president Laurens Tulloch, conveyed a clear sense of urgency via the not-for-profit foundation’s email account.

The subject line reads:

“Crisis Regarding School Board – Request for Your Attention.”

Tulloch praised McIntyre, whom he said is taking this selfless action for the good of the children.

“Yet, as Dr. McIntyre said in his resignation, ‘We stand today at a strange place where educationally we are more successful than ever, yet politically there seems to be more negativity and noise.’

“Dr. McIntyre resigned rather than to remain the lightning rod for that negativity, so that hopefully the focus can be put back on what is best for the future of all of our children.”
Then Tulloch turned his attention to the race for law director in the March 1 Knox County Republican primary.

“We also have the opportunity to do something about removing some of that negativity and noise from decisions surrounding our school system. There is a crucial election coming up on March 1 where the Knox County Law Director will be chosen. The choice is between the incumbent, Bud Armstrong, and the challenger, Nathan Rowell.

“One of the biggest reasons that drove Dr. McIntyre to resign was the politics being played on school board issues by the current law director.”

Tulloch urged his recipients to compare the credentials of both candidates, describing Rowell as “a professional not a politician,” and Armstrong as “a continual thorn in the side of the current school board majority.”

“I ask you to examine the professional credentials and experience of each candidate, and I hope you conclude to help do anything within your power to elect Nathan Rowell. The timing of contributions is crucial for success right now, and if you are so inclined, the details of how to contribute are at the bottom of this message. Feel free to adapt this message to inform other folks in your own networks.”

Early voting starts Feb. 10. Tulloch urged his recipients to act quickly, and to send checks to Rowell’s home address.

“Each individual can contribute up to $1,500, which means $3,000 per couple, per election. An online donation button hasn’t been added yet. Sending a check saves over three percent in transaction fees, and does not have the transferring limitations that online options provide.”

Tulloch also endorsed District 2 school board candidate Grant Standefer and District 5 candidate Buddy Pelot and gave their home addresses.

Nathan Rowell, who is a partner at Watson, Roach, Batson, Rowell & Lauderback, a firm that specializes in government work, said he had no involvement in, or advance knowledge of Tulloch’s email.

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