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Victor Ashe, Shopper News columnist Published 7:00 a.m. ET July 9, 2018 | Updated 8:13 a.m. ET July 9, 2018

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Matlock is a small business owner in Lenoir City. He has served in the state legislature since 2007. He will face Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and likely a slew of other Republicans for the congressional seat. Tyler Whetstone/USA Today Network-Tennessee

State Rep. Jimmy Matlock

State Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenior City, discusses his bid to become speaker of the House with the News Sentinel editorial board.(Photo: Jack McElroy)

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The recent revelation that congressional candidate Jimmy Matlock skipped the three-day special session called by Gov. Bill Haslam in 2016 to rescue federal highway dollars, as well as the vote to oust a sexual predator from the state House, has triggered further questions about his attendance record over the past 12 years. It has been hit and miss for Matlock when it photos comes to being on the House floor for votes.

Only this year, on the last day of the 2018 session, Matlock left three hours early before the House adjourned, missing several votes, including one on the sale of liquor in Tellico Village. He represents Tellico Village but did not want to take a position on the legislation.

He has yet to explain to voters why he did not attend the special legislative session. On April 10, 2014, when the state budget passed 68 to 27, Matlock was one of four House members not to vote. The budget is the single most important vote a lawmaker casts.

More: Victor Ashe: Jimmy Matlock’s attack on Tim Burchett marks start of GOP silly season

State Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City, makes a speechJimmy Matlock, Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional

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Jimmy Matlock was introduced by Ed Whiting, right,Owner Jimmy Matlock shows off the renovated waitingTennessee Rep. Jimmy Matlock prays during a pro-life

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State Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenior City, discussesJimmy Matlock, state representative from Lenoir City.Lawmakers react to a vote in favor of Gov. Bill Haslam'sHouse Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City, says for theU.S. Rep. John "Jimmy" Duncan shakes the hand of stateRep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City, speaks before theJimmy Matlock BWRep Jimmy Matlock, right, is a Republican state representative

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  • State Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City, makes a speech1 of 13
  • Jimmy Matlock, Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional2 of 13
  • Jimmy Matlock was introduced by Ed Whiting, right,3 of 13
  • Owner Jimmy Matlock shows off the renovated waiting4 of 13
  • Tennessee Rep. Jimmy Matlock prays during a pro-life5 of 13
  • State Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenior City, discusses6 of 13
  • Jimmy Matlock, state representative from Lenoir City.7 of 13
  • Lawmakers react to a vote in favor of Gov. Bill Haslam's8 of 13
  • House Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City, says for the9 of 13
  • U.S. Rep. John "Jimmy" Duncan shakes the hand of state10 of 13
  • Rep. Jimmy Matlock, R-Lenoir City, speaks before the11 of 13
  • Jimmy Matlock BW12 of 13
  • Rep Jimmy Matlock, right, is a Republican state representative13 of 13

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Afraid to face female candidate?  

Meanwhile, Matlock has challenged Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett to a one-on-one debate, as if the other three candidates are irrelevant. Clever – but why would Matlock want to exclude the only woman running in this GOP contest? Burchett has participated in seven joint appearances to date.

Ashley Nickloes

Ashley Nickloes (Photo: Victor Ashe)

It may be because Ashley Nickloes is making a strong favorable impression as she introduces herself, which undercuts Matlock. She is a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard who has flown combat missions as recently as April. She knows military issues. She is a mother of four and lives in Blount County. Nickloes helps herself whenever she shares a platform with Matlock.

Anyone who has met her and heard her speak realizes quickly she is well qualified to serve in Congress. Many feel she has stronger and broader credentials than Matlock to serve. She shows up for work. She is articulate. She is making a good impression among voters.

Voters have rare thing – a real choice  

This is the first time in 54 years that someone named Duncan is not on the ballot for Congress in this district. It is only the third time in those 54 years where there was a seriously contested race in both parties with the first in 1964 and the other in 1988.

Congressman John J. "Jimmy" Duncan talks about his

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U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan Jr., left, is seen here campaigning

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Greeters for President George H.W. Bush's visit on

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U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. in Bagdad, Iraq, withU.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., center, greets Gold Star

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Dogwood Arts Festival Parade 1990s decade grand marshall

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Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. talks with Knoxville

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COngressman Jimmy Duncan Jr. waves to the crowd traveling

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Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr, center, watches election

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John Duncan III is sworn in as Knox County Trustee

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U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan Jr. talks about a painting that

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Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett talks with U.S. Rep.

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U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-Knoxville, speaks during

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ADT operator Andrew Burch, left, is given a hero award

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U.S. Congressman John "Jimmy" Duncan, left, talks with

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Congressman John J. "Jimmy" Duncan's grandson Beau

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U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan Jr., Jacob Watts and grandfather

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Alcoa Inc. Location Manager Ken McMillen, left, Sen.

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Gov. Bill Haslam, left, U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.,

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Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr., left, administers

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U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. speaks with guests during

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Congressman John Duncan Jr. thanks his supporters during

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U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. joins the Cider MountainPresident Barack Obama arrives for his East Tennessee

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Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. is introduced along

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U.S. Rep. John J. "Jimmy" Duncan Jr. in the Town of

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U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. takes the stage with grandson

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  • Congressman John J. "Jimmy" Duncan talks about his1 of 27
  • U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan Jr., left, is seen here campaigning2 of 27
  • Greeters for President George H.W. Bush's visit on3 of 27
  • U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. in Bagdad, Iraq, with4 of 27
  • U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., center, greets Gold Star5 of 27
  • Dogwood Arts Festival Parade 1990s decade grand marshall6 of 27
  • Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. talks with Knoxville7 of 27
  • COngressman Jimmy Duncan Jr. waves to the crowd traveling8 of 27
  • Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr, center, watches election9 of 27
  • John Duncan III is sworn in as Knox County Trustee10 of 27
  • U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan Jr. talks about a painting that11 of 27
  • Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett talks with U.S. Rep.12 of 27
  • U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., R-Knoxville, speaks during13 of 27
  • ADT operator Andrew Burch, left, is given a hero award14 of 27
  • U.S. Congressman John "Jimmy" Duncan, left, talks with15 of 27
  • Congressman John J. "Jimmy" Duncan's grandson Beau16 of 27
  • U.S. Rep. Jimmy Duncan Jr., Jacob Watts and grandfather17 of 27
  • Alcoa Inc. Location Manager Ken McMillen, left, Sen.18 of 27
  • Gov. Bill Haslam, left, U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.,19 of 27
  • Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr., left, administers20 of 27
  • U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. speaks with guests during21 of 27
  • Congressman John Duncan Jr. thanks his supporters during22 of 27
  • U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. joins the Cider Mountain23 of 27
  • President Barack Obama arrives for his East Tennessee24 of 27
  • Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. is introduced along25 of 27
  • U.S. Rep. John J. "Jimmy" Duncan Jr. in the Town of26 of 27
  • U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. takes the stage with grandson27 of 27

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Renee Hoyos and Josh Williams are seeking the Democratic nomination. Hoyos is seen as the likely winner among Democrats.

GOP nominee for sheriff Tom Spangler has endorsed Randy Boyd for governor in the GOP primary on Aug. 2. Early voting begins this Friday, July 13.

Another city official leaving  

Right after former city Police Chief David Rausch applied for the TBI job, which he won, it seems another high-ranking Knoxville city employee is seeking to move on.

Vickie Hatfield, civil service director for 12 years, is one of two finalists to be UT system vice president for human resources. Interviews are occurring this week.

Should she secure the position, the civil service board will need to start a search to fill this important post.

UT president Joe DiPietro has vacated the home he sold and is now living in a condo prior to concluding his service and moving to Illinois.  His exact departure date is unannounced.

University of Tennessee system president Joe DiPietro'sBuy Photo

University of Tennessee system president Joe DiPietro's house in West Knoxville, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (Photo: Caitie McMekin/News Sentinel)

The new UT board will not meet until August and is missing three members out of the 11 authorized to serve. It is unknown if Haslam will appoint three people in the six months left to him as governor or leave it to the next governor, who takes office in mid-January 2019.

Joe DiPietro

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From left, Joe DiPietro, president of the University

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Joe DiPietro, president of University of Tennessee,

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Joe DiPietro, president of the University of Tennessee

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Joe DiPietro, president of the University of Tennessee

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Preparing to cut the ribbon at the new John D. TickleDignitaries pose for a photo just before cutting the

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University of Tennessee system president Joe DiPietro's

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Gov. Bill Haslam, left, talks with UT President Joe

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UT President Joe DiPietro listens during the UT Board

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UT President Joe DiPietro speaks during the UT Board

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UT President Joe DiPietro speaks laughs during the

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Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, center, and his wife, Crissy,Left, to right, Lee McGetrick, Director of Carbon Fiber

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Left, to right, Lee McGetrick, Director of Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, Gov. Bill Haslam, Dr. David Danielson, Asst. Secretary U.S. Dept. of Energy, Dr. Thom Mason, Director ORNL, Dr. Joe DiPietro, President University of Tennessee and Congressman Chuck Fleischmann, take a tour at the commissioning of the U.S. Department of Energy Carbon Fiber Technology Facility in Oak Ridge, Tuesday, March 26, 2013. The Department of Energy announced a lunch of the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, to invest in and improve manufacturing jobs and competitiveness. Amy Smotherman Burgess/News Sentinel

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Picture left to right are Tennessee governor Bill Haslam,

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From left to right: student Megan Brooker, Gov. BillUniversity of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro posesUniversity of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro listens

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Tennessee President Joe DiPietro, left and PhillipDenise and University of Tennessee Institute of AgricultureUniversity of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro addresses

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University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro speaks

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University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro is interviewed

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President Joe DiPietro, right, and Chancellor Jimmy

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UT President Joe DiPietro, left, and Chancellor Jimmy

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University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro, right, announces Tuesday, June 21, 2016, that Chancellor Jimmy Cheek is stepping down and returning to teaching.

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From left, Tennessee president Dr. Joe DiPietro, athleticJoe DiPietro

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The Rock on the UT campus was painted early Monday,

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UT President Joe DiPietro, Howl-O-Ween’s “Top Dog,”Actress Dale Dickey, center, is presented with an honorary

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Former Lady Vols swimmer Mollie DeLozier, right, talks

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Jimmy Cheek, UT chancellor, has been named past chairProtestors hold up signs in support of the Lady Volunteers

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UT President Joe DiPietro, Executive Assistant to the

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UT president Joe DiPietro, left, and chancellor Jimmy

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  • Joe DiPietro1 of 36
  • From left, Joe DiPietro, president of the University2 of 36
  • Joe DiPietro, president of University of Tennessee,3 of 36
  • Joe DiPietro, president of the University of Tennessee4 of 36
  • Joe DiPietro, president of the University of Tennessee5 of 36
  • Preparing to cut the ribbon at the new John D. Tickle6 of 36
  • Dignitaries pose for a photo just before cutting the7 of 36
  • University of Tennessee system president Joe DiPietro's8 of 36
  • Gov. Bill Haslam, left, talks with UT President Joe9 of 36
  • UT President Joe DiPietro listens during the UT Board10 of 36
  • UT President Joe DiPietro speaks during the UT Board11 of 36
  • UT President Joe DiPietro speaks laughs during the12 of 36
  • Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, center, and his wife, Crissy,13 of 36
  • Left, to right, Lee McGetrick, Director of Carbon Fiber14 of 36
  • Picture left to right are Tennessee governor Bill Haslam,15 of 36
  • From left to right: student Megan Brooker, Gov. Bill16 of 36
  • University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro poses17 of 36
  • University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro listens18 of 36
  • Tennessee President Joe DiPietro, left and Phillip19 of 36
  • Denise and University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture20 of 36
  • University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro addresses21 of 36
  • University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro speaks22 of 36
  • University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro is interviewed23 of 36
  • President Joe DiPietro, right, and Chancellor Jimmy24 of 36
  • UT President Joe DiPietro, left, and Chancellor Jimmy25 of 36
  • University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro, right, announces Tuesday, June 21, 2016, that Chancellor Jimmy Cheek is stepping down and returning to teaching. 26 of 36
  • From left, Tennessee president Dr. Joe DiPietro, athletic27 of 36
  • Joe DiPietro28 of 36
  • The Rock on the UT campus was painted early Monday,29 of 36
  • UT President Joe DiPietro, Howl-O-Ween’s “Top Dog,”30 of 36
  • Actress Dale Dickey, center, is presented with an honorary31 of 36
  • Former Lady Vols swimmer Mollie DeLozier, right, talks32 of 36
  • Jimmy Cheek, UT chancellor, has been named past chair33 of 36
  • Protestors hold up signs in support of the Lady Volunteers34 of 36
  • UT President Joe DiPietro, Executive Assistant to the35 of 36
  • UT president Joe DiPietro, left, and chancellor Jimmy36 of 36

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Burchett has appointed Richard Graf of South Knoxville, former MPC chair, to the MPC for a four-year term.

Indya Kincannon has named Kelly Johnson, a neighbor in the Fourth and Gill neighborhood, as her treasurer in her mayoral campaign. Johnson has a finance degree from Wharton and moved to Knoxville in 2001. She has three children, has been a PTA president and owns the Johnson family of restaurants in Sevier County.

Kelly Johnson, co-owner of Johnson Family Restaurants,Buy Photo

Kelly Johnson, co-owner of Johnson Family Restaurants, stands outside the rebuilt Alamo Steakhouse in Gatlinburg.  (Photo: BRIANNA PACIORKA/NEWS SENTINEL)

City councilman Marshall Stair has not yet appointed a treasurer but is pursuing the mayoral campaign with meetings.

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Watch Kelly Johnson of Johnson Family Restaurants describe the task of rebuilding the Alamo Steakhouse in Gatlinburg. Jim Gaines, USA TODAY Network - Tennessee

Birthdays  

July 11 – MPC executive director Richard Green, 65; July 14 – former Knox County commissioner Bob Hill, 90; Steve Land, 65; July 15 – former Clayton Homes executive John Kalec, 68; Dean Rice, assistant to Burchett, 48; July 16 – businessman Ron Watkins, 76; former county commissioner Mark Cawood, 64.

 

 

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