Lutton wins public defender race, Buuck wins law director in Knox County general election

The political makeup of the Knox County Commission has changed after voters cast ballots in the Aug. 6 election. 

Now two Democrats will sit on the commission instead of one after Courtney Durrett defeated Grant Rosenberg for the District 2 seat. 

Despite a muted campaign season in response to the spread of COVID-19 two of the more competitive races – Knox County Public Defender and Knox County Law Director – were decided handily. 

Here are the other unofficial results for the Knox County general election, with 100% of precincts responding. 

Knox County Public Defender

Eric Lutton, a Republican, took 44,504 votes. Sherif Guindi, an Independent, had 23,381 votes, according to unofficial returns with 100% of precincts reporting. 

“I’m very happy, obviously. This is an interesting feeling, because I never, ever in my life thought I would run for office,” Lutton said.  

Lutton, the county’s interim public defender, took the reins in November 2019 after public defender Mark Stephens stepped down early. He has worked in the Knox County Public Defender’s Community Law Office since 2013. He defeated Republican Rhonda Lee in the primary.

Lutton said Thursday night that redesigning the court system during a pandemic has been a unique challenge as the spread of COVID-19 continues. 

Long term, he’ll continue to help individuals deal with addiction, address mental health issues and work through recovery courts to lower the crime rate. 

“We have an office that has been able to do a lot to lower the crime rate,” Lutton said.  

Knox County Law Director

David Buuck, a Republican, received 43,364 votes, according to unofficial returns and with 100% of precincts reporting. Jackson Fenner, an Independent, received 25,318 votes. 

Buuck served as chief deputy under Knox County Law Director Bud Armstrong in the Knox County Law Director’s office and served in private practice before that. 

Heading into office, Buuck said he’ll have “the same priorities we’ve had for the last eight years, and that is to represent the citizens of Knox County as best we can by giving advice to the other elected officials in Knox County and enforcing, most importantly, the charter of Knox County.”

Armstrong is term limited.

“To me it was important to carry on what I’ve been doing with Bud Armstrong for the last eight years, representing the people of Knox County,” Buuck said. “They’re my clients.” 

Knox County Commission District 1

Dasha Lundy, a Democrat, won 3,887 votes while Reginald M. Jackson, an Independent, won 1,118 votes, according to unofficial returns and with 100% of precincts responding. 

Lundy, who defeated incumbent Evelyn Gill in the March primary, holds a doctorate in physical therapy and serves on the City of Knoxville Historic Zoning Commission and is a member of the Knoxville College board of trustees. 

Knox County Commission District 2 

Courtney Durrett, a Democrat, won 4,663 votes and Republican Grant Rosenberg trailed with 3,904 votes, according to unofficial returns and with 100% of precincts responding. 

Durrett is a former public schools teacher and worked with the Tennessee State Senate and the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

Commissioner Michele Carringer did not seek re-election.

Knox County Commission District 4

Kyle Ward, a Republican, received 6,029 votes and Todd Frommeyer, a Democrat, received 5,155 votes, according to unofficial returns and with 100% of precincts responding. 

W is the owner of Ward Waste Solutions and served in the U.S. Air Force.

Commissioner Hugh Nystrom did not seek re-election.

Knox County Commission District 5

John Schoonmaker, the Republican incumbent, will take a second term after winning 7,273 votes, according to unofficial returns and with 100% of precincts responding. He first took the seat in 2015. 

Kimberly Peterson, a Democrat, received 3,613 votes. 

“(Being a commissioner) was really rewarding in that you were able to make an impact on people’s lives, and that’s what I want to do for the next four years, to keep helping our community,” Schoonmaker said.

He hopes to continue to make improvements on infrastructure in Knox County despite limited funds as a result of COVID-19. He said he’s concerned about businesses closing and the loss of sales tax revenue generated for schools and parks. 

Unopposed races

Knox County Commission District 6

Terry Hill, Republican

Knox County Commission District 8

Richie Beeler, Republican (incumbent)

Knox County Commission District 9

Carson Dailey, Republican (incumbent)

Knox County Assessor of Property

John Whitehead, Republican (incumbent)

Criminal Court Judge Division II, District 6

Kyle Hixson, Republican (interim)

Board of Education, selections finalized in March

Jennifer Owen, District 2

Daniel Watson, District 3

Susan Horn, District 5

Mike McMillan, District 8

Farragut Board of Aldermen

Louise Povlin (Ward 1, incumbent)

Drew Burnette (Ward 2, incumbent)


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