Question, please

Knoxify, a blog by Brandon Clarke and Casey Peters, have an innovative way of sorting a passel of local political candidates this election season. Just ask them three rather novel questions on a blog and let them introduce themselves. Easier than hoofing it through a subdivision; less juicy than kissing babies. And you don’t need a  governmental policy wonk to craft an answer. (If you do, don’t bother answering.)

Here’s their plan:

The upcoming Knox County Commission election has amassed a colossal pool of candidates, many of whom we know nothing about. The Knoxify solution: interview them all and publish their answers unedited. We’re asking all of the candidates to answer the following questions:

   1. Introduce yourself to Knoxville, who are you, and why are you running?
   2. We think it’s better knowing what not to do rather than having an extensive plan. What areas or interests would benefit Knox County not to venture into?
   3. What 5 things could you not live without?

Check back daily to see how the candidates answered our questions.

Who are Clarke and Peters? Well, they co-founded a group called the Young Professionals of Knoxville. Clarke was among the Greater Knoxville Business Journal’s 40 under 40. Peters is a project manager at Team Health. They have a cryptic reference to plans for a project, but apparently we’ll hear about that later.

It’ll be interesting –and I hope refreshing — to see how many of the candidates stop by, say howdy and answer 1-2-3.


  1. This reminds me of my days as a community newspaper publisher — San Diego, circa 1986 … my first professional newspaper job out of college.
    My co-publisher and I decided to send a questionnaire to each candidate for city council — there were like eleven of them in our district.
    We owned the newspaper and a bookstore and had both been literature majors in college, so it was quite likely that we ask a question such as, “Name three books that have inspired your life.”
    One of the candidates, a leading candidate considered a likely run-off contender answered, “I don’t read books.”
    This item was picked up by Tom Blair, the local three-dot columnist for the morning paper just days before the election (he’s now editor of San Diego Magazine), and that candidate then failed to make the run-off.

  2. Virtual candidate forums

    At the blog, Knoxify, candidates are addressing the blog’s three questions for hopeful officeholders (more details). For me, the first two are but warm-ups for the real question, No. 3, What 5 things could you not live without?Ah, we can…

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