The primary is still two years away, but Knox County Commissioner Bob Thomas on Friday will announce a political treasurer for his mayoral bid, a move that will allow him to raise and spend money on his campaign.
Thomas, one of two at-large Republican commissioners and a former local radio personality, said he will file the paperwork at the Knox County Election Commission at 1:30 p.m. He plans to name Mike Price, a well-known developer in West Knoxville and former University of Tennessee football standout, as his treasurer.
“We need to go ahead and get it going,” he told WBIR 10News on Thursday.
In addition, Thomas plans to hold an official campaign kickoff at 11:30 a.m. May 11 at Powell Auction where he will host a baloney sandwich luncheon.
"I think the people in Knox County are relatively happy with their government and I want to make sure we maintain that level of happiness in the sense that taxes are low and that we’ll keep working to help education,” Thomas said. “I want to make sure we spend our money efficiently, that the government is run efficiently – that it doesn’t grow into a monster.”
Thomas, who formerly co-hosted one of East Tennessee’s most popular morning talk shows – the “Ed and Bob Show” – won a spot on the county commission in 2014.
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, who is term-limited, is currently serving his second term.
The Knox County Republican Primary is set for May 2018.
In addition to Thomas, local GOP chairman Buddy Burkhardt, who works in technical support at the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, has said he plans to run for county mayor.
There also are rumors that county Commissioner Brad Anders and state GOP Chairman Ryan Haynes are interested in the job.
The county mayor earns about $170,000 annually, oversees roughly 1,000 employees and a more than $750 million budget.