If there's one set of county elections to which voters are more tuned in than any other this year, it's the Knox County Schools Board of Education races. Last fall's burgeoning revolt has turned into a full-fledged assault on the current board members up for reelection, backed by data showing lots of unhappy teachers.
Does that mean all the incumbents are out? Hardly. But it does mean the next six weeks are going to be very, very interesting. Any of the races could be decided in the primary, if one candidate gets 50 percent of the vote, plus one extra vote. And District 9 has only two candidates running, so it will definitely be decided in the primary. (District 7 has already been decided by default, as there's only one candidate in the race.) So if you live in one of the four contested districts, you should definitely plan on attending the appropriate League of Women Voters forum. (Thankfully, they're breaking the races up into two events, so you won't have to be there all night.)
Here's the press release:
However, if you're interested in an overview of all the county races, or how all the school board candidates stack up to each other, you can go to a town hall event on April 10 for three hours of debate. (You'll also be able to meet and greet the candidates beforehand.) Not everyone is yet confirmed for the event, but in an interesting twist from the usual campaign fare, the moderators are morning radio show hosts. (Are we envisioning something like last week's Parks and Rec in our head? Just maybe.) Here's the scoop:League of Women Voters to Hold Board of Education Candidate Forums and to Produce Voter GuidesKnoxville, TN - The League of Women Voters of Knoxville/Knox County (LWVKKC) has partnered with the Knox County Teachers Association (KCEA) to develop a voter guide for all 13 School Board candidates and to hold two moderated candidate forums in order to inform voters about their choices for the Knox County Board of Education in the May 6 primary.The voter guide will report the candidates' answers to six questions proposed by interested citizens and focused on the major challenges facing the Knox County public schools as they balance state mandates, teacher needs, and most of all, make decisions that best serve our county's students. The voter guide will be published by the Knoxville News Sentinel.This non-partisan race will allow voters to determine their representative from the five districts. If there are three or more candidates in a district, the winner must receive 50% plus one of the total votes. If they do not, there will be a runoff in the August general election.The first School Board candidate forum, for Districts 1 and 6, is scheduled for Thursday, March 27, 7:00 p.m., at the Cansler YMCA, 616 Jessamine Street.The second candidate forum, for Districts 4, 7, and 9, will be held Tuesday, April 1, 7:00 p.m. in the Community Room of Pellissippi State Community College Magnolia Campus, 1610 East Magnolia Avenue.The audience at both forums will be able to submit questions for the candidates to answer.LWVKKC President, Kim Lauth, hopes that "citizens will inform themselves about the substance of the questions and pay careful attention to the candidates' responses and that many voters will attend one or both forums. An informed citizen is the best assurance of democracy at work."The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. For more information about the Knoxville/Knox County League of Women Voters and this election, visit www.lwvknoxville.org or vote411.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT: Concerned Citizens' Candidate Town HallWHERE: Knoxville Expo Center on Clinton HighwayWHEN: April 10, 2014Doors Open at 4:00p.m.Debate begins promptly at 5:30p.m. - 8:30p.m.Doors Close at 9:00p.m.MODERATORS:Mike Howard and David "Shyne" Thompson of "The Rude Awakening" Morning Show on WNFZ KnoxTalkRadio 94.3Schedule of Events:4 p.m. - 9 p.m.: Candidates are present at their booth or have a staffed table -- meet and greet.5:15 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.: We will have audience take their seats, explain the program format and say the pledge of allegiance.5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.: The Town Hall will focus on Knox County Commission races.6:30 p.m - 7 p.m.: Introduction of those candidates present who are running county-wide races such as Mayor, Sheriff, Trustee, Clerk, Criminal Court Clerk, Reg of Deeds, etc. (and any other candidates/dignitaries that are in attendance).7 p.m - 8:30 p.m.: The Town Hall will focus on the Knox County School Board races. (The Town Hall portion of the event will take place in the Grand Ballroom.)This event is FREE to the public and the candidates.