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Hopefuls vie for District 5 commission seat
Griess successor selected from publicized list, other source

Several candidates for Knox County Commission District 5C seat currently held by John Griess introduced themselves at a community forum Saturday, Jan. 28.

Griess and 11 other county officials were ousted by a State Supreme Court decision earlier this month, which upheld term limits.

Several commissioners were present for the forum and to listen to potential candidates for the District 5 position as well as for the other districts. Commissioners included Mike Hammond, Craig Leuthold, Mark Harmon and Greg “Lumpy” Lambert. Candidates were limited to three minutes in their


Farragut resident Marilyn Cobble is one of the candidates vying for the appointment.

“I’m passionate about quality of life and I’m passionate about our schools,” she said. “I think people don’t want career politicians. I think they want qualified people in key positions for a limited time.”

Cobble, according to her résumé, is a former president of the Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce and a former member of the town Visual Resources Review Board.

A graduate of state University of New York at Buffalo, she spent several years in the banking industry. She currently serves as an independent consultant to the banking industry.

Gregory Harrison, another Farragut resident, believes his experience makes him the right candidate.

“This is the first time I’ve ever set foot in a public arena,” he said. “I’m interested in helping the community.”

Harrison, an attorney, earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and went on to graduate from The University of Tennessee School of Law. He served as an assistant district attorney general for Knox County from 1987 to 1996 until he was made executive director of the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission. He held that position until 2000.

Kyle Phillips ran against Craig Leuthold in the Republican primary last year and lost, but he is seeking appointment to the 5th District commission seat.

“I feel it’s up to us to get involved,” he said. “What I pushed for in my campaign was better fiscal responsibility, better planning and more emphasis on education.”

Phillips earned his Master of Business Administration degree from The University of Tennessee in 1999 and serves as a contract account manager with the Whirlpool Corp.

Tom Salter ran for the seat currently held by Griess last summer as a write-in candidate and is seeking appointment to the position.

“What I heard over and over from the people I visited was that people want strong, safe neighborhoods,” he said. “I’m not a crony and plan to listen to how the people want me to vote.”

Salter currently serves as the executive director of Keep Knoxville Beautiful, a position he has held for the past 10 years. He earned a Master of Science degree in adult education from The University of Tennessee.

Teresa Shupp believes her skill in establishing dialogue between different groups makes her the ideal appointment for the


A Knoxville resident, Shupp serves as an adjunct assistant professor for The University of Tennessee Department of Urban and Regional Planning. She earned her bachelor’s degree in architecture from Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in planning from The University of Tennessee.

Pamela Treacy, another Farragut resident, expressed her interest in the Knox County Commission seat.

“I’m a team player,” she said. “I chose to do this because of my business skills and enthusiasm about the community. I think communication is the key.”

Treacy is a commercial real estate agent with Wood Properties, Inc. She said she was in on the start-up of Home and Garden Television in Knoxville. She spent several years in the communication industry.

Other candidates have expressed interest in the position, but did not speak at Saturday’s public forum.

Former Knox County Republican Party chairman and one-term Knox County Board of Education member Brian Hornback is alleged to be vying for the position. Only one local television Web site, WVLT, has him listed as a candidate.

Robin Butler and Ken Gross have submitted resumes for their chance at the District 5C seat.

Butler’s résumé shows extensive sales and corporate experience.

Gross served as chairman of the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission.

Tamara Boyer also is listed on the WVLT Web site, but no further information was available at press time.

Knox County commissioners were scheduled to appoint replacements Wednesday, Jan. 31, and the decision was unavailable at press time.


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