Janet Testerman She has three more months on the Knoxville City Council after spending much of her life in politics, either as the daughter of a former Knoxville mayor or in civic and public office herself.

She suffered what she admits was a painful defeat in 2022 when she lost to Eileen Davis In the Republican Party primaries to succeed state representative. Eddie Man When he did not seek re-election. Davis defeated Democrat Greg Kaplan for two years.

“I’m doing a self-evaluation,” Testerman said Sept. 6 over iced drinks at Back Roads Coffee off Sutherland Avenue. “I don’t know if I will stay away from politics forever. I will leave myself open to opportunities as they present themselves.

She said she became depressed by the way “nobody wants to build bridges” in politics in general. “Nobody wants to come together for change. Everything is agenda-driven. The current crisis of housing shortages and fair market housing is an example of what you’re talking about,” she said. Take Section 8 vouchers, which can be used to help targeted groups with housing. But in places where housing could be built to use vouchers, there are protesters who say the housing will lead to more traffic and crime, which are “fear factors,” Testerman said.

“I wish my father could give his advice,” she added. her dad, Kyle Testermanwho served as mayor from 1972 to 1976 and from 1984 to 1988, died eight years ago.

Janet Testerman said some people have talked to her about running against Davis again, but that’s not her plan.

Davis is a conservative Republican who has supported legislation to eliminate citywide runoffs in county elections and hold runoffs only in counties — a move strongly opposed earlier this year by current City Council and Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon. Sen. Frank Nicelli, R-Strawberry Plains, became Senate sponsor. Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville, was able to amend the law to begin in 2025. There was disagreement among community groups about whether this setting helps or hurts minority candidates, but there was agreement that the legislation would help get them elected. Republicans in Democratic-majority Knoxville. Davis also introduced legislation to repeal early voting, then backed away from it when bipartisan criticism developed.

Knoxville elections are nonpartisan, although the political leanings of candidates and officeholders are generally known.

When she was elected to the council in 2019, Testerman said she did not participate in the agenda. “I was excited about the significant benefits of economic development and job opportunities,” she said. The Tennessee Smokies baseball stadium project east of Old Town is an example of what you’re talking about.

Testerman, 54, said the biggest factor in deciding not to run for a second term was what she described as the “heavy lifting” at Young Williams Animal Center, where she serves as CEO. She and her staff of 91 employees are taking over the city and county animal control units and merging them into the Animal Center operation in early 2024.

Testerman is a graduate of the Webb School in Knoxville, earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas and earned her master’s degree in strategic communications from American University in Washington, D.C. She has worked at Scripps Magazines and Scripps Networks. On a personal level, she is married to Joey Cresswell He has two daughters, Georgie and EllieThey are both students at Auburn University.

She and her husband are about to move into a new apartment in Westchase, where her mother, Janet Testerman Crossleyalso lives.

Her term ends on December 21. The two candidates in the general elections scheduled for November 7 to succeed her are: Debbie Helsley And R. Bentley Marlowe.

Plan to remember Cameron: A celebration of life Cameron Brooks, a longtime local Democratic Party official, former labor organizer, realtor and candidate for the At-Large A seat on the Knoxville City Council, will be held at 4 p.m. Oct. 5 in the parish hall of St. James Episcopal Church, 1101 N. Broadway.

It is considered private as invitations are sent to family and friends, but the location has been changed from the Peak Cultural Exchange Center due to expected crowds. The church is where Brooks and his wife, Wes NoteTheir marriage was blessed shortly after the US Supreme Court upheld the validity of same-sex marriage in 2015.

Brooks, 45, died Sept. 1 at Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center. After being treated for a recent diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, he developed advanced sepsis after the first round of treatment. He first announced his diagnosis in mid-August, explaining that he began suffering from a debilitating medical condition in which he began losing strength in his legs, among other things. He pledged to stay in the race, despite not being able to campaign as he would like.

“I remain committed to giving workers a voice on City Council,” he said in a statement. He came in second place in the City Council race against the incumbent Lynn FugateWhich would have put him in a runoff on November 7 if he were alive. Under state law, his name will not be on the ballot because of his death as election official Chris Davis He said.

His last campaign financial disclosure statement on August 21 showed he had $24,800.65 in his account, with a loan of $11,600. Davis said Brooks’ campaign manager, Rev. Harold MiddlebrookHe is responsible for distributing funds.

Johnson is off and running: Representative of the state Gloria Johnson The Knoxville native, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2024, will be the keynote speaker at the Knox County Democratic Party’s annual Truman Day Dinner on Oct. 27 at the Downtown Hilton, 501 W. Church Ave. Doors will open at 6pm with dinner. 6:40 pm

Reservations are $80 per person, or a table for $800. Sponsors, in levels ranging from $100 to $5,000, will be invited to a cocktail hour before the reception with Johnson and other speakers and elected officials. For more information or to purchase tickets, go to actblue.com/donate/trumanday2023.

Meanwhile, Johnson’s first fundraiser in Knoxville for her Senate campaign will be from 5:30-7 p.m. on September 19 at Holy Gourmet Market and Café. Tickets are $100 each. At 5 p.m., a reception will be held for contributors of varying levels from $500 to $6,600. To RSVP or obtain information, contact Addie@triumphstrategies.com.

Justice party: New Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Dwight E. Tarwater He has a reputation as a serious trial lawyer, but his sense of humor was evident when he was governor. Bill Lee He conducted a ceremonial inauguration on September 12 at the Tennessee Theater in front of other judges and friends.

“The court please, I am Dwight Tarwater of the Knoxville bar. It has been a great honor to be before you, and an even greater honor to sit beside you,” Tarwater said, using the traditional opening line used by lawyers who address the court for oral argument. We can climb it together.” “I will work hard and I will be fair. And I promise you, Governor, that I will abide by the oath I just took. “I will not let you down, and I will not let Tennessee down,” Tarwater said. His comments came in a statement issued by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Besides his trial work as a trial attorney in Knoxville, Tarwater was general counsel to the former governor. Bill Haslam In 2014-19. He was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice by the Tennessee legislature in March, and his term began on September 1. Sharon J. LeeWho retired on August 31.

Georgiana Vines is a retired associate editor for the News Sentinel. She can be reached at gvpolitics@hotmail.com

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