The revolution continues

July 23, 2008

The News Sentinel’s editorial decision to endorse my opponent was disappointing and a bit perplexing.

The paper led the court fight at considerable expense to force sunshine into an event now known to voters as “Black Wednesday” when appointments to public office were made in backroom deals.

But although I was hoping for the paper’s endorsement I do respect the significant role the News Sentinel played in reversing the political shenanigans of “Black Wednesday.”

The paper should be and has been applauded for taking the reins and restoring order to what was a dastardly process that led to political appointments and a gross violation of the public’s trust.

A free press, and the freedom to endorse political candidates, are a bedrock of our country. Although I wanted to receive the paper’s endorsement I respect its right to make decisions about political campaigns.

The endorsement said: “(J.J.) Jones and (Randy) Tyree are confident; both are capable, and both say they want to take politics out of the Sheriff’s Office. As long as it is an elected office, it will be a political office, but whoever holds the position should take steps to see that politics never outweighs public safety.”

The full text is here:

It was not necessarily a popular decision as you can read in the comments under the editorial and also here:

Politics should never govern the sheriff’s office, and, if elected, I can assure every employee and the citizens of Knox County that it will not.

Confident and capable sum up my campaign. I am happy the paper recognized my competence to hold this office.

I do believe I am the right choice.

And, remember, this time YOU decide!




Politics, not as usual

July 20, 2008

That is the underpinning of my campaign. Let’s do things differently.

I am definitely different. Some officeholders apparently think I am a relic, without coming out and saying such.

The Knox County attorney general had this to say in the paper Saturday:

“It’s been day and night since he’s been there. … I like the mayor. He’s been a friend of mine. He’s not right for the job at this time.”

I beg to differ. I strenuously object. But not too strenuously. Don’t want to pull anything.

The full column by Georgiana Vines is here:

Jim Andrews is, in my opinion, being politically expedient. Politics as usual. The politics of the past.

I want to represent the politics of the future. And in that vision a lifelong Tennessean with a history of public service, law enforcement and private work as an attorney is an ideal candidate for sheriff.

I am actually encouraged by comments such as those in the column today. It means they’re worried enough about my candidacy to try to discredit me as too old.

I am 68 years young. In what parallel universe is that washed up?

The politics of the past.

Let’s clean up come Aug. 7. A vote for me is a vote for the future.

And, remember, this time you decide!

Thank goodness.


Leave them out; let them be

July 17, 2008

The employees of the Knox County Sheriff’s Department have a lot of responsibility every second on the job. They have to be accountable to their supervisors and the public. They patrol our streets, handle our corrections facilities, answer our calls for help, investigate crimes and commit themselves to their work.

What is not in their job description for their protection is political work.

My opponent, J.J. Jones, has a series of photos on his campaign website, and a few of them include images of employees who should not have been used in campaign materials.

I sent this press release to the media today:

Although there are lawful uses of county employees for the purpose of election campaigns, J.J. Jones’ website for sheriff appears to violate the policies of the Sheriff’s Merit System Council by including images of uniformed officers who are civil service protected.


The Merit System allows classified officers and employees to participate in campaigns, but they must be off-duty AND not in uniform or wearing any department insignia.


In several photos on the sheriff’s campaign website, including two attached, some classified employees identifiable with sheriff insignia and in uniform, are shown in the photos. Some are in the forefront and others are in the background, but the use of classified employees for such is verboten.


Some of the employees in the photos are non-classified and thus their use in campaign materials can be done at the discretion of the sheriff. But others are in uniform and are classified positions for the Sheriff’s Office.


“The power of the incumbent is extensive,” Randy Tyree said. “The Merit System policies are in place to ensure that sheriff’s employees are not misused in campaigns for political purposes.”


Former Sheriff Tim Hutchison used uniformed officers and multiple images of helicopters and cruisers with sheriff insignia in his campaign for reelection. He claimed it was OK because they were off-duty and his campaign reimbursed the county for the gas.


But the Merit System policies in Section 2.3 are clear and read, in part: “No classified person can appear publicly or in any advertising on behalf of a candidate while on duty or in uniform or wearing any insignia or other clothing which may associate the person with the Sheriff’s Department.”


Jones appears to be mimicking the way Hutchison ran his campaign – without regard for policies protecting classified employees from being misused in political races.


The images that violate Merit System policies should be removed from the website,


“It is impossible to remove the element of coercion when an incumbent sheriff has employees appear in campaign materials,” Tyree said.


Tim Hutchison did it. Now, J.J. Jones is following in his footsteps.

The News Sentinel’s story is online:

KnoxvilleTalks, which is hosted by WBIR, has posted the press release:

The work of sheriff’s employees is stressful. It’s scrutinized by everyone. They have enough to cope with and sort through every day without adding political appearances to their job descriptions. Also, their images that were taken during sheriff’s department events should not be used later to promote anyone’s campaign.

Leave them alone. Let them work.

And, remember, this time you decide!


Where is Randy?

July 15, 2008

This week, I’m here, there and everywhere.

The campaign website keeps an events calendar that is updated daily.

From the chamber meeting to restaurants to a fair to a festival to early voting sites, I will be scattered across Knoxville and Knox County this week.

Speaking of early voting, it starts this Friday, July 18.

You can vote early at the following locations:

Knox County Courthouse, Room 218, 300 Main St.

Five Points Village Plaza Shopping Center, 2384 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.

New Harvest Park, 4775 New Harvest Lane (near Knoxville Center).

Halls Recreation Center, 6933 Recreation Lane off Crippen Road.

235 W. Young High Pike, next to Wood Realtors.
Downtown West Shopping Center, 1645 Downtown West Blvd., Suite 29.
Farragut Town Hall, 11408 Municipal Court Drive.
The Silo, 9409 S. Northshore Drive, just east of Northshore and I-140.

Early voting hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the sites closed on Sunday. Early voting lasts until August 2.

The election is Aug. 7.

Get out and vote!

And, remember, this time you decide!


Mud-slinging politics …

July 14, 2008

… but fortunately there are washing machines.

A weekend trip to Chilhowee Park turned into a muddy mess for a great cause.

The Democratic team went down fighting as you can see here.

I actually made the defensive play!

I actually made the defensive play!

 I did manage to get up.

Upright and serving

Upright and serving

The crack team consisted of: me; Mark Harmon, Knox County Commissioner; Bob Becker, Knoxville City Councilman; Andrew Graybeal, Candidate for Property Assessor; Kevin Spooner; Olivia and Phoebe Spooner; Megan and Scott Lappas; Dan Schuh; and Amy Broyles, Candidate for County Commissioner.

You can read more here from Amy Broyles about how we managed to actually win a few games, along with some more photos:

The event was a lot of fun for the participants – especially the ones who didn’t have to do the laundry – and was part of the East Tennessee Epilepsy Foundation’s Mud Volleyball Tournament.

More about the foundation can be found here:

One more photo with some clean advice for new candidates: Never let the mud cover your logos.

Tyree for Sheriff remains visible

Tyree for Sheriff remains visible

A special thanks to all who participated and played dirty politics for just a day.

And, remember, this time you decide!


Hello, I’m Randy Tyree …

July 12, 2008
… and I want to be your Knox County sheriff.

First, a big thank you to Georgiana Vines and the News Sentinel for the news column today about our headquarters and this blog.

Click here and scroll down:

The page views spiked today and that’s the point of a blog – to let voters hear directly from me.

My opponent seems to think there is too much anonymity in blogs. That may be true, but that’s a baffling remark to make about this one. I sign my name to it and my name is splashed across the top of the blog.

I’ll even insert a photo.

That's me, Randy Tyree

That's me, Randy Tyree

Hmmm … I look a little bewildered in that photo that anyone could think my blog was anonymous.

Here’s one of me actually looking at the camera with my name on my Tennessee State Guard uniform.

That's me again but smiling

That's me again but smiling

My website is linked on the right side of the page, along with other relevant sites for readers.

You can call the headquarters, 675-4628, or email me directly at

Edited addition July 14: Thank you to KnoxViews for the web plug: (scroll down to Knox election updates)

And thank you to Sandra Clark at the Shopper-News for mentioning this blog:

And, remember, this time you decide!

Randy, the non-anonymous blogger

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign

July 10, 2008

Lots of people are asking about yard signs and that’s a good sign!

Our shipment of Tyree for Sheriff signs is scheduled to arrive this week to our headquarters.

Supporters of our campaign for Knox County sheriff can get signs two ways:

1. Call us at the HQ – 865-675-4628.

We’ll make arrangements to bring the sign(s) to you and plant one in your yard for you.

2. Stop by and pick them up at 10330 Technology Drive.

The headquarters is off the Dutchtown Road exit off Pellissippi Parkway, just south of Interstate 40/75. The front of the headquarters faces the parkway and the access street to the building runs parallel to the parkway on the west side.

We expect to have the signs on site by this Friday.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to visit during the official opening of the headquarters. It was a big success with voters and the media in attendance.

Don’t forget: Early voting starts July 18.

And this time you decide!


Headquarters to open Wednesday

July 8, 2008

Hello voters!

We will officially open the campaign headquarters for Randy Tyree for Sheriff this Wednesday, July 9. The phone number for the HQs is: 865-675-4628.

We are located at 10330 Technology Drive at the Dutchtown Road exit off Pellissippi Parkway, just south of Interstate 40/75. The front of the headquarters faces the parkway and the access street to the building runs parallel to the parkway.

An open house will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday. There is plenty of free parking so please stop by and say hello.

Thank you for your support for my campaign for Knox County Sheriff.

And, remember, this time you decide!