Candidates in the next city election cycle will be making formal announcements soon, and although a multitude of rumors swirl about the mayor’s race in 2019, no one has gone public yet. On the other hand, the District 4 City Council seat that Holston Hills resident Nick Della Volpe will vacate in December 2017 is drawing high-quality, high profile competition.
Lauren Rider, former president of the Old North Knoxville Neighborhood Association, plans to announce her candidacy after the holidays. Rider, a librarian at the Pellissippi State Division Street campus, is co-chair of the Broadway Corridor Taskforce and has been active in community issues since she moved to Knoxville 12 years ago.
Ryan Haynes will resign his post as state GOP chair a few weeks after the Nov. 8 election. Haynes, a former state legislator who represented Farragut and West Knox County, has been unhappy with the position. He is a more policy-oriented person and does not like the internal GOP politics on the state executive committee. He was also blindsided by Gov. Bill Haslam’s rejection of Donald Trump, which fell on him to explain.
When Gov. Haslam repudiated Trump, the party headquarters was swamped with irate Republican calls and Haynes was attacked, too. He received only six hours’ notice on the Haslam move to prepare when it hit the media.
Two Septembers ago, the school board ended up in a 4-4 tie between Mike McMillan and Doug Harris as its new chair. The board had to wait for new member Patti Bounds to return from a long-planned (and non-refundable) European cruise to break the tie. To no one’s surprise, she voted for McMillan after being deluged with phone calls, e-mails, text messages and people dropping stuff off at her door.
This year, due to what Bounds describes as a family emergency that required her to care for her 7-week-old granddaughter, Emmaline, while her family vacationed at Disney World, it happened again. She says she hated it ending up that way, but is keeping with her priorities of “God, family and work,” in that order. She and husband Tommy watched via computer while the board deadlocked 4-4 between McMillan and Terry Hill – both of whom Bounds considers friends. They’ll vote again next month, and Bounds said she doesn’t know which way she’ll go.
Rhonda L. Gallman has qualified as a write-in candidate for House District 15, which was previously held by Joe Armstrong. She lives at 2431 Hoitt Ave. in North Knoxville. Her nickname, according to her signed form, is Mousie, and her phone is 865-936-4647.
Gallman has spoken several times at public forum before City Council in the past year although she has not voted in a city election for the past 16 years. She is African-American as are Rick Staples, Democratic nominee, and independent Pete Drew. The district is majority Caucasian.