Fairbanks to succeed Skillern

A new entrance of Daisy Elementary, a football field at Sale Creek Middle/High, a running track at Soddy-Daisy High School and a fire hall in Soddy-Daisy are some of the things District 1 Commissioner Fred Skillern wants to accomplish before leaving office.

Randy Fairbanks, who won last week’s general election and will take over Skillern’s seat, said he supports all those projects and will see them through.

Skillern has most of the money in his discretionary fund to complete them and plans to spend it before he leaves office.

Fairbanks easily won the vote last week, earning 3,448 votes over 1,731 write-ins for Rhonda Thurman.

“As a candidate you’re always nervous,” Fairbanks said Thursday. “But going into today’s vote I was fairly confident we would do well.”

Fairbanks edged the Republican primary by 51 votes over longtime Commissioner Skillern. It was the primary season’s biggest upset countywide.

But Fairbanks didn’t get to enjoy victory long. Shortly after the May 6 primary, Thurman, a Skillern ally, launched her write-in campaign — despite Skillern telling her it was a bad idea and the local GOP supporting Fairbanks.

Thurman, who is the District 1 school board member, was not deterred. She said she was running to make sure several projects she had been working on with Skillern would be completed.

Thurman told a crowd of a few dozen supporters Thursday night she thought the race would be a whole lot closer. “I’m sorry,” she said.

“I’ve still got the school board.”

District 1 includes Sale Creek, Soddy-Daisy and sections of the county north of Red Bank.