Former GOP state chair Ryan Haynes will become head of the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers and will not be a candidate for local office in Knox County anytime soon or ever if this becomes his career path. As such he will replace the fabled Col. Tom Hensley of Jackson, known for years among legislators as “the Golden Goose.” Hensley also worked closely with the Miss Tennessee pageant in Jackson.
Hensley had been a fixture in the Legislature for over 50 years. Whether this turns out to be a 30-year job for Haynes or not remains to be seen, but compensation (while not public) is very comfortable and is in the six-digit range. Haynes served as state representative from Farragut for five years and will maintain a residence in both Knoxville and Nashville. He has a law degree.
As the incoming Trump administration gets ready to take office Jan. 20, there will be a changeover in the U.S. attorneys and U.S. marshals across the country. Former Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison is widely mentioned as becoming U.S. marshal. The position, along with the U.S. attorney, must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate, which by tradition means Sens. Corker and Alexander will have to sign off on it to become effective.
Whoever it is, there must be vetting, an actual presidential nomination plus a vote by the Senate. It will be June 2017 before a new marshal and U.S. attorney actually take office, assuming there are no delaying issues.
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.
Last week, County Commissioner Brad Anders was the only member of the troubled 911 Board to abstain on whether to hire Harris Corporation to implement a new multi-million dollar radio system. No decision was made since it failed on a 5-5 tie vote. Had Anders voted for it, it would have passed.
One has to wonder what is really going on here. Both Mayors Rogero and Burchett backed the Harris decision. However, all citizen members of the Board plus Sheriff Jones opposed it. Anders, whose day job is an officer of the Knoxville Police Department, did not support his chief, David Rausch, who voted for Harris.
The city of Knoxville is trying to settle the lawsuit against it and the Pension Board over the cost of city employees buying back years of military service for their city pension. The Pension Board deadlocked 4-4 on whether to allow the reduced rate over the higher rate with council member Finbarr Saunders and Mayor Rogero voting for the higher charge for veterans.
The board has acknowledged error in not advising city employees of this benefit early in the process, and it is generally felt the city has a weak case and may ultimately lose. Mediation is being sought by a mediator outside Knoxville. Whether this will solve the case or not is uncertain, but an effort is underway.
The massive April 25 earthquake in Nepal has caused more than 7,000 deaths already with the count rising. The tragic news from Nepal, which lies between China and India, brings back memories of five trips over 40 years.
I first visited Kathmandu in 1975 on an around-the-world trip. It was a neat place that attracted hippies who smoked pot and used extensive drugs. I was only age 30 when I was in Kathmandu and the historic Thamel area of the city, which suffered heavy damage. Pollution had not yet become the major issue in the valley where Kathmandu lies that it is today.
(Note: Ryan Haynes will speak at the Union County Lincoln- Reagan Dinner 6 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at Union County High School.)
By almost any standard, Ryan Haynes is young. He celebrates his 30th birthday this week (Happy Birthday, Ryan!), which means he was born in 1985 − the year “The Breakfast Club” came out. Those of us who grew up in the ’80s feel like that was five minutes ago.
The late Kyle Testerman was the only Knoxvillian to serve two separate four-year terms as mayor and the last member of City Council to advance to the mayor’s office, but that was 44 years ago.
Others serving on council have run for mayor since 1971, including Jean Teague, Danny Mayfield, Bernice O’Connor, Casey Jones and Ivan Harmon, but voters have not chosen a council member to be mayor since Testerman defeated the late Mayor Leonard Rogers in 1971.
Farragut’s state Rep. Ryan Haynes announced his candidacy for chair of the Tennessee Republican Party immediately following the resignation of Chris Devaney, who is leaving with a group doing humanitarian work in Haiti.
Clearly, Haynes was alerted to the Devaney resignation as he announced within hours of Devaney’s statement. Haynes is close to House Speaker Beth Harwell, and it seems obvious he would not be seeking the position without her blessing along with Gov. Bill Haslam’s support.