Knoxville mayoral candidate Mark Padgett plans to announce today that he has raised $91,440 from 185 individuals in the past two months. No loans are included in the amount, he said.
He's jumping ahead of a required Feb. 1 deadline for disclosing his campaign finances because he and Ellen Adcock, one of his treasurers, said they are pleased with raising what amounts to more than $10,000 per week.
This is in response to "sharing our message," he said.
Others who have named treasurers and are raising money for the mayor's race are Councilwoman Marilyn Roddy; Madeline Rogero, former city development director and county commissioner, and Ivan Harmon, a former councilman and commissioner. Former Councilman Rob Frost also is considering the race while Knox County Clerk Foster Arnett Jr. dropped out last week.
Businessman Eddie Mannis is considering the mayoral race although he said Friday that he also is considering one of three at-large council seats up this year.
Greg Mackay, Knox County Election Commission administrator, said candidates who named treasurers in 2010 are required to file reports by Feb. 1.
Padgett, 32, is the son of former longtime Democratic County Clerk Mike Padgett. The younger Padgett worked briefly in the administration of former Gov. Phil Bredesen before launching his business, eGovernment Solutions, which takes traditional paper processes and turns them into online services.
Padgett doesn't talk about his campaign very long without mentioning Bredesen's name several times. He stresses his business experience, having started his own business with $5,000, he says.
He announced that his official campaign kickoff will be 5:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at the L&N Station.
The mayor's race has gotten off to a fast start in part because of the election of former Mayor Bill Haslam to governor. Councilman Dan Brown has been appointed by council to serve as interim mayor until December when a new mayor takes office for four years.
While candidates can raise money, they cannot pick up a nominating petition until March 18, with the deadline for submitting qualifying petitions as June 16.
Yet groups already are planning mayoral candidate forums.
The first by the Council of Involved Neighborhoods is at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 at Church Street United Methodist Church. WATE, Channel 6, news anchor Lori Tucker will moderate.
"This will be an opportunity for the candidates to hear our concerns and for us to learn how they plan to address them. COIN's mission is to speak as one voice for all neighborhoods and we would like the candidates to hear this voice loud and clear," an announcement said.
In related developments, former Knox County Commissioner Finbarr Saunders has indicated that he plans to seek at-large council seat C. He named Daniel Barnett his treasurer.
Saunders, a Democrat, enters the race with about $13,000 from his commission race last year that can be transferred to the council race, Mackay said. Saunders lost his re-election bid to Republican Jeff Ownby.
City elections are nonpartisan although most candidates who run usually are identified with a political party. The primary is Sept. 27 with the general election on Nov. 8.