City Council Member Janet Testerman launches her campaign for the Tennessee General Assembly.
It was a perfect evening for a campaign kickoff and general get-together at Lakeshore Park Monday evening. The temperature was in the high 70s with a comfortable breeze. Restaurateur Randy Burleson delivered fantastic food to Marble Hall. The Pour Guys were pouring terrific wines and Miller beers.
Janet Testerman, my friend and current Knoxville City Council member, looked beautiful and exuded confidence and sincerity as she declared her candidacy for state representative for District 18 in the Tennessee General Assembly. Eddie Mannis, the current holder of that seat, was in the audience to cheer her on, as were more than 80 other friends and supporters, including Farragut Mayor Ron Williams and her fellow Knoxville City Council member, Lynne Fugate. It really could not have gone better.
“I’m a steadfast believer that when opportunities present themselves, you have to pay attention,” she said, referring to the fact that Mannis decided not to seek re-election to the position.
Testerman said that economic development and creation of job opportunities are the secret to keeping taxes low and paying for resources like infrastructure and social services. And while she described herself as a “bridge builder,” she said she is not afraid to stand against the majority when she needs to. Case in point: on City Council, she was the lone vote against curfews on businesses during the pandemic. “I believe in less government regulation,” she said.
On other subjects, Testerman said she is glad that parents are getting more involved in decisions about public education; she is a “relentless supporter” of law enforcement; and she feels there is a crisis in providing treatment of those with mental health disorders.
Testerman, the CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center, is the daughter of the late Knoxville Mayor Kyle Testerman. She is running in the Republican primary, which will be held Thursday, Aug. 4. Early voting is July 15-30.
State Rep. Eddie Mannis, left, and Blake Gibson.
From left, former Knox County Commissioner R. Larry Smith, Janet Testerman, City Council Member Lynne Fugate and Scott Fugate.
The candidate’s mother, Janet Testerman Crossley, left, with Beth Stubbs.
Businessman Doug White introduced Testerman.
Alan Carmichael, left, with Farragut Mayor Ron Williams.
Here’s a peek at the food spread. Amazing.
Testerman greets supporter Anthony Hancock.
From left, Harrison Forbes, Brad Van der Veen, Cliff and Jacque Hawks.
Former state Rep. Rick Staples and former Knoxville City Council member George Wallace.
Doug and Melissa White with Mary Ellen Brewington, right.
Taylor and Brittany Forrester with Julieanne Foy, right, the executive director of Lakeshore Park.
Susan Pavlis, left, and Kim Henry.
Rob and Peary Purvis.
Former Knoxville Vice Mayor Nick Pavlis and current Director of Engineering Harold Cannon.
The candidate’s sister, Muffet Testerman-Buckner with her grandson, Henry Buckner, the official campaign baby!
Listening to the brief remarks.
Mingling. Always fun.
Testerman with Knox County Property Assessor John Whitehead.
Hash Hashemian, left, and Bruce Hartmann.
The guys helping with check-in. From left, Mitchell Moseley; campaign treasurer Eric Botts; and all-around get-it-done guy Dino Cartwright.
Family shot! From left, Muffet Testerman-Buckner, Brooke Buckner with baby Henry; Testerman’s husband, Joey Creswell; Testerman; her mom, Janet Testerman Crossley; and stepdaughters, Georgie and Elie Creswell.
Dino Cartwright, left, with Annette and Scott Brun.
Kim and Dennis Denton with Beth Cantrell, at right.
Craig Shelton and Susan Bush.
Bill Lyons, center, with Lynne and Scott Fugate.
Kat Savelli-Botts, Eric Botts and daughter Nova.
Henry Buckner near the end of the evening found the bubbles a little more interesting than the mingling. Photo by Muffet Testerman-Buckner. Bubbles by Dan Andrews, who pulled up to the festivities with a bubble machine!
Here’s a look at the event invitation with the host committee list: