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Election process begins in Knox County

Knox County officially kicked off its upcoming 2006 elections with the distribution of election petition materials at the Knox County Election Commission office Friday, Nov. 18.

Some of the seats being contested are 19 Knox County Commission seats in all nine districts — including Farragut’s District 5, Knox County mayor, Knox County sheriff and five Knox County Board of Education seats — including Farragut’s District 6 being vacated by Charles James.

James, current Knox County Board of Education 6th District representative, announced Friday, Nov. 18, that he would be a Republican candidate for Knox County Commission 6th District Seat A, currently held by Democrat Mark Caywood.

James gained the seat by defeating incumbent Board of Education member Diane Jablonski, who also lost a bid for state representative District 14 to Parkey Strader.

While on the School Board, James said he was instrumental in settling the “costly and contentious” lawsuit between the School Board and Knox County Commission, in developing a plan for a much-needed new West Knox County high school and in implementing appropriate pay raises for teachers and school staff.

“I pledge to be responsive and accessible to the citizens of the Sixth District,” James said in a prepared statement, “I look forward to continuing to support the much needed projects of the Sixth Commission District, including the new high school.”

James served on Knox County Mayor Michael Ragsdale’s special task force last year to evaluate the need and location of a new West Knox County high school.

James, who describes himself as “a strong advocate for the new school,” said he opposed other elected officials who did not wish to fund a new school and who proposed that students at Farragut and Karns high schools attend classes in shifts to relieve overcrowding.

“It is critical that we maintain the renewed spirit of cooperation between the Knox County School Board and Commission,” James said. “I have worked hard on relationship building and will continue to do so as a commissioner.”

James said the “Every School a Great School” agenda developed by community consensus is something all county elected officials should readily endorse. He added that its success would be directly linked to maintaining our county’s strong economy and continued job growth to ensure expanded funding sources for education.

Other seats — county and state — up for grabs are:

Knox County Primary — May 2

• County Mayor

• County Clerk

• Trustee

• Register of Deeds

• Sheriff

• County Commissioners District 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

• School Board District 1, 4, 6, 7, 9

• District Attorney General

• Public Defender

• Circuit Court Judges Division 1, 2, 3, 4

• Criminal Court Judges Division 1, 2, 3

• General Sessions Court Judges Division 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

• Juvenile Court Judge

• Chancellor Division 1, 2, 3

• Circuit, General Sessions and Juvenile Court Clerk

• Criminal and 4th Circuit Court Clerk

State Primary and County General Election — Aug. 3

• Governor

• U.S. Senate

• U.S. Rep. 2nd Congressional District

• Tenn. Senate District 5, 7

• Tenn. House of Repre-sentatives District 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

• State Executive Committee Men and Women District 5, 6, 7

• Supreme Court Judges

• Court of Appeal Judges Middle and Eastern, Western Grand Division

• Criminal Court of Appeal Judges Middle, Eastern, Western Grand Division.


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