Visiting Knoxville

    Tom Knox says he’ll decide in the next few days whether he’ll run for mayor in the Democratic primary or as an “independent Democrat” in the November election.

    Knox once talked about the primary, then for months leaned toward the general, then recently began flirting with the primary again.

    He commissioned a poll this week, and he told me yesterday preliminary results make him think November is his best shot. But he said he’ll take a look at the survey in the next few days and decide which way to go.

    Any question he wants to run?

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    “Well,” he said, “My wife doesn’t want me to run, but my wife is a real trooper and if I really wanted to do it, she’d be there with me. And I’ve always wanted to do it.”

    He said he doesn’t think Milton Street’s candidacy would help him or hurt him much in a Democratic primary.

    “Right now, from what I’m seeing, I actually have better support in the African American community than in the white community,” he said.

    How does he explain that?

    “Maybe it’s the way I grew up,” he said. “I grew up in public housing, never had the opportunities others had, and maybe African American people can relate to that.”

    One interesting wrinkle to his calculus: It may be some advantage to Knox to wait as long as possible before spending $250,00 of his own fortune on the race. Once he does that, the “millionaire provision” of the city’s campaign finance law is triggered, permitting Nutter to raise larger sums from his core donors.

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