By Vivian Shipe
KNOXVILLE, TN — In keeping with the grassroots movement sweeping across the country, the number of African Americans and women qualifying to run for office in Knoxville is at historic levels. From state executive committee positions, county mayor, county commission, and board of education, to the senate race; the ballot box has a decidedly different look for 2018.
Daniel Brown, Knoxville’s first Black Mayor is running for the State Executive Committee position for the Tennessee Democratic Party while Linda Haney, former Chair of the Knoxville Democratic Party has filed to run for county mayor as has Rhonda Gallman, another democrat. The seat for county commission at large also has a challenge by Tori Griffin.
Another graduate of the EMERGE Tennessee democratic training program for women; Jamie Ballenger has qualified to run for the Tennessee Senate and her Emerge sister Evetty Satterfield is running for district one Board of Education against two other first time candidates, Andre Canty and Dametraus Jaggers.
The uproar over the last presidential election, the lack of representation and attention to the needs of the people has created a tsunami of concerned individuals who are no longer willing to sit by and watch. Instead there is an atmosphere brewing of why not me? This new awareness may well change the face of American representation on the state and local levels for Knoxville and the rest of the country as early as the primaries which will be held on May 1st.