Taking canvassing to radioland

By: Mike McCarthy
By: Mike McCarthy

KNOX COUNTY (WVLT) -- Superbowl Sunday may have glued millions to their couches, but it couldn't keep some Knox County candidates off the campaign trail.

With just one day remaining till the primaries, they were running at top speed both in the neighborhoods and over the air waves.

"I didn't set the election date and I didn't set the Super Bowl, but I thought there's no reason we couldn't combine the two," said Hubert Smith, the radio host of a political talk program on WKVL.

Smith invited 10 Knox County candidates to spend their down time during the big game talking to his radio audience.

"I invited candidates that bought airtime on my show,” he said, “I'm not under any fairness clause so I can invite whoever I want."

Eight of the candidates took turns at the mic, later saying it was a great opportunity to get their message out, without interrupting the Super Bowl audience.

"What I've learned is we shouldn't be knocking on anyone's door during an important football game,” said Walt Wojnar, a candidate for seat 4-A.

That’s why they hit the streets before the hits came on the field.

"As I went through the stores a couple times, through the supermarkets, I've introduced myself to people," said Chuck Williams who is running for seat 2-B.

For some candidates, the radio chat was the latest effort in campaigns spanning multiple years years.

"I ran in 2006 as a write-in candidate, so I've been campaigning for two years,” said and it's been difficult and s been time consuming," said Elaine Davis who is also running for seat 4-A

The candidates also said that thanks to around 70 local names on the ballot, they have had a hard time standing out.

"For the most part, I'm self-funding my campaign," said Jim McEvers who is running seat 5-C

“It's been a challenge getting my name out there," said seat 1-A candidate Therea Cox.

And all the candidates were just happy to be able to reach out to their audience.

"Any opportunity to really talk to the voters and explain your view points on different issues is really important," said Steve Drevik who is running for seat 4-B

The radio show aired for two hours, leading up to the Super Bowl’s kicked off.

While candidates had to be invited, some of their challengers did call-in during the show to voice their opinions.

Voters head to the polls on Tuesday.

For complete coverage of the local and presidential primaries, be sure to stay connected with Volunteer TV and VolunteerTV.com.

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