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Election winners go to work

Although some election races were hotly contested, local winners of the general election say they are ready to get to work.

In one of the most contested races in Farragut, Knox County Board of Education 6th District winner Thomas Deakins edged out competitor H. Lee Martin. Deakins won 2,860 votes or 53.48 percent of a total of 5,348 votes. Martin earned 2,488 votes or 46.52 percent of the vote.

“The first thing I want to do is to help [Knox County] commissioners work together to make sure the Hardin Valley School is fully funded,” Deakins said. “When this school was put on the books, it was originally planned for two-thousand kids. The idea of going to a school for thirteen hundred is not a good thing because what that is going to do to impact Farragut High School is that it will not alleviate overcrowding. That’s what it boils down to.”

Deakins said there are still a lot of aspects to the school situation that have to be examined and he believes a good relationship with the Knox County Commission is vital to solving some of the county’s educational issues.

Months ago, Knox County officials had said publicly the Hardin Valley school was fully funded and slated to hold 2,100 students. In the past couple of weeks, county officials have said the school needs funding and should be slated for 1,300 students instead of 2,100.

Fifth District Knox County Commissioner Mike Hammond, Seat 5A, said he is one of those who believes more information needs to be forthcoming before the County can make a decision.

“If we build the school for twenty-one hundred, we’re looking at having a part of the building empty for a couple of years,” he said. “I have a real concern about building a school for twenty-one hundred students and have it used only by five hundred for the first couple of years. As any builder will tell you, having a portion of a building open is not a good thing. It becomes a warranty issue.”

Hammond said the [Knox County] School Board needs to be more forthcoming about whether the school will be an academy. If so, what will the operational costs be? What would the operational costs be for a school for 2,100 and used by only 500?

Hammond, as with Deakins, defeated a challenger for his position. Hammond won 5,912 votes, or 71.31 percent of 8,290 votes cast. Challenger J. Randy Sadler earned 2,378 votes, or 28.69 percent.

“I was thrilled to win,” he said. “I had hoped to be able to finish the job I started in my first term and the people gave me that opportunity.”

Fifth District Knox County Commissioner Craig Leuthold, Seat 5B, ran unopposed for his second term. Leuthold said he favors a school in Hardin Valley for 2,100 students.

“I’m going to support the school for twenty-one hundred,” he said. “If we’re going to do a job, then let’s do it right.”

Fifth District Knox County Commis-sioner John Griess, Seat 5C, did not return phone calls by press time concerning his victory against Tom Salter. Griess earned 5,161 votes or 59.88 percent. Salter won 3,458 votes or 40.12 percent.

In a closely contested race for sheriff, Repubican incumbent Tim Hutchison barely sneaked ahead of Democratic challenger Randy Tyree. Hutchison earned 25,777 votes or 52 percent while Tyree won 23,134 votes, or 47 percent.

Hutchison said his goal is to continue to keep the people of Knox County safe.


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