Commissioners voted Tony Norman the new chairman of Knox County Commission in a six to five vote Tuesday morning.
Norman beat former Commission Vice Chair Brad Anders, who was also nominated for the job.
Commissioner Sam McKenzie cast the deciding vote.
Anders was also up for the vice chairmanship but lost to R. Larry Smith in a vote of seven-to-four.
Norman has frequently been an outspoken critic of Knox County Schools, where he worked for thirty years as a teacher before retiring.
But Norman says while serving as chair he will curb his "vitriol."
"When you're on the commission and you're just a member you can take positions and fight for those positions so to speak, debate those positions with vigor. And the chair's role is not to do that," says Norman.
The Knox County Commission will elect a new chairman and vice chairman on Tuesday morning.
Current Chair Mike Hammond said he's serve two terms in that role before opening it to the 10 other commissioners.
Vice Chairman Brand Anders and Commissioner Tony Norman have both expressed interest in moving into Hammond's seat. Their fellow commissioners will make that call in a vote during a special meeting that starts around 9:30 a.m.
Just before that, the county will swear in three elected leaders.
Richard "Bud" Armstrong assumes the post of law director. Judge Steven Sword continues his role as a Knox County criminal court judge, and Phil Ballard remains on the job as the county property assessor.