Part 2: Meet the District 5 candidates

A second round of questions from Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce’s Breakfast Speaker Series in Rothchild Catering and Conference Center Wednesday morning, Feb. 7, have been answered by the following 5th District Primary candidates during early voting, through Tuesday, Feb. 27, leading to Primary election day Tuesday, March 5.

County Commission candidates — S. Arthur Moore (Democrat) and Republicans Toni Scott, Dale Skidmore, Brian Walker, Brad Hall and Angela Russell — and School Board candidates Lauren Morgan (Republican) and Terrye Whitaker (Democrat).

Russell’s bio, not included last week, is at the end of the answered questions.

What is your specific experience in participating with or serving alongside our local government to date? Commission candidates


“In my career in law enforcement, I have been a team player, a problem solver, a counselor and managed a lot of crises, so I think that helps. I would bring everyone to the table that’s involved and work on the issues.”


“Since turning 18, I have been an active voter in all elections, including local elections and Republican primaries.

“When I purchased my first home in Farragut Commons, I was elected to and served on that homeowner association board. Back then, many of the area HOAs sent a representative to the Town of Farragut meetings to report back and keep the HOA informed of local issues. ...

“In 2002, upon moving to the Northshore-Choto area, I continued my service by representing my neighborhood’s concerns to the Knox County government. 

“I was one of the founding organizers of the Northshore-Choto HOAs group. ...

“Over the years, I have been involved in opposing several reckless development issues. In 2016, I helped successfully oppose what was commonly referred to as the “Pill Mill.” In 2023, I was a leader in the successful effort to stop the high-density government-subsidized Choto Landing development. ...

“In addition, I have actively participated in several Knox County government processes over the years. For example, I have been engaged in the Advance Knox process from the initial stages. I participated in the community workshops in hopes that my community would have a voice in this process that could be a major change to development in Knox County. I have attended a Growth Policy Coordinating Committee meeting in person and watched others online.”


“My biggest experience for the last four years (is) I have been on my HOA in Village Green subdivision, which is a subdivision in the Town of Farragut with over 450 homes.

“I’ve worked with the Town of Farragut primarily with several issues. One in particular, we were having some issues, or the neighborhood4has always had issues, with overflow traffic from Farragut Primary in the front of the neighborhood. So we were able to work with the Town there and their chief engineer to get some no parking signs installed just a few weeks ago.

“So they were very beneficial in that, really came out and evaluated what we need. At first we were thinking we needed some no U-turn (signs), but we decided the No Parking was the best alternative for us then.

“Also, I’ve had some issues with vacant property, which makes homeowners very nervous that live by there, afraid their property would be devalued. And the Town was really helpful in going in there and cleaning up the lot and it really worked well.

“Then lastly I would probably be when people are doing renovations on their property, to work with the Town to make sure that they’re following the building code.”


“Well, I will say I am not a politician. I’m a mother and a wife, and I am a former school teacher, but I think that actually serves me quite well.

“I have had an opportunity in those roles to have an abundance of time to give to our home church of Cedar Springs to be involved in the school. Both, obviously, previously as a teacher, now as a parent, to volunteer and serve on many boards there through athletic endeavors and the children’s academic pursuits.

“And I’m also a part of a small group of women that were able to launch the Farragut Christmas Parade and Santa’s Village for the past few years. So I’m very grateful for those opportunities that have been provided because of the schedule that I have. So I desire to be a public servant more so than a politician.”


“In business in 23 years, (among) different things I’ve done, I’ve always worked with local government. I’ve never ran for any election or politics or anything like that, either.

“But I have worked directly with the county, directly with the city to work on zoning permits and just different business licenses and that kind of thing.

“So I’ve always been around politics. I just never actually been in this situation on this side of the microphone. But I’ve had a good opportunity to meet with a lot of people from the county over the last couple months, for that matter,

“I met with some people from the county Public Works after the snowstorm. We talked about what worked, what didn’t work. I had a chance to sit down with our Sheriff (Tom Spangler) to talk about how we can help police officers better and their families to basically live here in this area, protect us better.

“So I’ve had a lot of good experience going through the knowledge of meeting new people, and at that point, it gives me an edge.

“I think that when I do, or if I get elected, at that point I can hit the ground running and we can really start going and continue the great growth that we have here in Knox County.”

Recently, five area Chambers of Commerce, including Farragut West Knox, presented a legislative agenda that prioritized the critical issues: workforce healthcare, childcare and housing.

Which of those three do you think Knox County needs to address first?

What ideas do you currently think can help that? Commission candidates


“So I think you really can’t separate one from necessarily the other three. When we look at, for instance, our workforce, if we’re wanting to bring young professional folks who want to have their families here, right?

“You’re going to have to support the school system. You’re going to have to have good schools. And we’re fortunate in West Knoxville that we certainly do. So, supporting one and picking one is not only difficult, it’s essentially impossible because these support each other.

“I think the biggest challenges facing this area are challenges of how do we deal with the growth that Knoxville is continuing to experience. I don’t think anybody would really doubt that. Right? That’s kind of the big thing.

“Knoxville is expected to grow by 80,000 people. OK, What jobs are these folks going to have? How do we bring business to Tennessee? How do we continue to support the businesses that are here in Knox County in the Farragut area?

“As a small business owner, I ask these questions of myself every day as well. How do I bring physicians here? I can tell you when I’m recruiting physicians, some of the first things they ask are, ‘Where do I live? I’ve got a wife, I’ve got kids, or we’re planning on having kids.’

“Where do I go? And I always tell them, ‘hey, Farragut’s definitely the best place because we support our schools.’ So these three issues are not (separate) They’re impossible to kind of differentiate.”

What is your specific experience in participating with or serving alongside our local government to date? Board of Eduction candidates


“Several people up here have said I’m pretty new into the politics world, and so I don’t have a ton of experience.

“I’ve really enjoyed a ton of experience in politics. I’ve really enjoyed meeting people and building relationships with some of our government officials.

“And I think on the School Board, it’s really important that you have a great bridge between working with the schools and working with our government officials. So one of the things that I do have a lot of experience in is being in our schools and having great relationships with our administrators in our District 5 schools; with our teachers there, with parents there.

“And so I think I can bring that with me. And then, using the relationships that I’ve established during my time running this campaign to be able to have good relationships with those who are in government.”


“Well, locally, I have not had much experience with the people who are in political positions, but we lived in Colorado prior to our moving back this time, and I was very involved with candidates.

“I helped support and knock on doors for a lot of folks. I was also on a committee for the local community that I lived in for arts and public spaces. So I knew all of basically the city council members and worked directly with them on things that we bought or created in those particular areas.

“But I do believe that the School Board and County Commissioners really need to have more interaction and more communication, and that is certainly something that I would like to see happen, regardless of who’s elected in any position there. That there is more transparency between the two organizations, and that we can better serve our public schools in every way possible.”

Russell Bio

“I am a multi-generational native East Tennessean and have lived in District 5 for over 30 years. My grown children still live in District 5 and my husband, Doug, and I hope to someday have grandchildren living here also. This area is my past, present and future.

“I grew up in a large family and the daughter of a Baptist-minister and a loving mother. I am a long-term member of First Baptist Concord. I am a Christian, and I have deeply rooted Christian values, which are at the core of everything I believe in and stand for.

“I graduated from the University of Tennessee in accounting and obtained my CPA license. I have worked in public accounting, private business accounting, business management — and have even owned my own business. 

“I am also a Certified Real Estate appraiser with an Appraisal Institute MAI designation.”