From the Maryville Daily Times -Guide to the 2022 Blount County Primary & Rockford City Election - Candidate Profiles

Candidate profiles are useful and we appreciate the Maryville Daily Times offering this service. Candidate profiles help us to know the candidates a little better and possibly research them further.

Here are two Blount County Commission candidate profiles that appear to not really know Blount County. Also, it is kind of interesting how some of the candidates really, really have to emphasize how they were born, raised, and lived their whole lives in Blount County. That is not a bad thing but it is also not bad to have lived other places where a person might get a sense of other successful communities.

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District 2, Seat A
Mike Akard
Affiliation:Republican

Incumbent

Mr. Akard does not seem to represent all the citizens in his district. He appears to only want to represent those citizens who have his same beliefs. Whereas his opponent, Tracey Farr, appears to be willing to work "with people that have different ideas." She goes on to say, "Approaching conflicts as potential opportunities can help me work with many leaders so we can keep our focus grounded and lead this community in paced and smart growth with very diverse populations in mind.”

Why are you running for this position?
Mr. Akard: “I’m a native Blount Countian with conservative values... Our low property tax rates are extremely appealing. Local residents typically support conservative Republicans 3:1 to continue improving Blount County without the pitfalls of Democrat-run communities. I have been working with conservative officials building on a common-sense, fiscally responsible, pay-as-we-go plan to continue building a better Blount County. Current fuel prices nationwide are a perfect example of what happens with Democrats in charge.”

What relevant experience do you have?
Mr. Akard: “Unlike my opponent’s party, Republicans believe in fiscal responsibility and know how to get things done efficiently.
...

What makes you different from the other candidates for office?
Mr. Akard: “Red state conservative values vs. Blue state liberalism. Local Democratic Party is advertising and sponsoring candidates for nearly every office in Blount County. 2020 local election was 72 percent Republican vs 27 percent Democrat and we’ve all seen the horrific national results from Democrat rule since 2020. I’m encouraging every Republican to get out to vote to continue traditional Blount County conservative values and properly serve taxpayers with proven ‘pay-as-we-go’ progress for Blount County while incurring no new debt and continuing successes like Tennessee’s annual State Audits showing no findings 7 of last 9 years (unprecedented). I will vote Republican.”

Mr. Akard attended the protests in Washington, D.C., on January 6, 2021. Even though the election was held on November 3, 2020, with two months of audits and recounts, it appears Mr. Akard still did not believe the presidential election results. He says he did not participate in the insurrection but he says he did chant "traitor" at those (Washington D.C. Police? Capitol Police?) trying to protect the Capitol from insurrectionists.

A little more history on Mr. Akard from the Maryville Daily Times.

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District 4, Seat C
Josh Sullins
Affiliation:Republican

What makes you different from the other candidates for
office?
Mr. Sullins: “I can’t speak for other candidates, but I will say of myself that I’m one of the younger candidates. I see my youth as an advantage to the diversity of the commission with the potential to add a distinct perspective. To me, this isn’t a legacy position or position to fill retirement time. It’s a chance for me to directly serve the citizens of my county with youth, endurance, and proven leadership skills. With the above said, I hold the utmost respect for senior members of public service and don’t want that misconstrued in any way.”

Youth is not necessarily an advantage. Besides, the median age for a Blount County resident is 44 years old. Nearly 30% of Blount County residents of voting age are 60 years old or older. But, heh, he has the "utmost respect for senior members of public service." I would hope so. The Blount County Mayor is no spring chicken. In addition, what is wrong with someone working their whole lives then being willing and able to give back to the community.

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