Mayor makes apology for May 9 remarks

Blount County Mayor Jerry Cunningham recently made an apology regarding comments he made during the May 9 Lincoln Day Dinner.

While introducing Blount County General Sessions Judge David Duggan, Cunningham spoke about how the Democratic Party in Blount County had become more liberal in the last few years and included individuals who “hit the county line criticizing everything that moves.”

After three Democrats were elected to the commission, he said he often found himself frustrated by them. His next comment at the May 9 Lincoln Day dinner was what raised the ire of some in the community.

“Janice asked me one night where I was going, and it was one of those nights I was mad with those three,” the mayor said. “I said I could go to the bottom of the hill and turn right and go to the Knoxville Zoo, or I could go left and go to the committee meeting,” he said. “I could see the monkeys at the zoo or see them at the committee meeting.”

On May 16, the mayor issued the following statement:

“Recently, in jest, at a dinner, I made some remarks which offended some folks. Since being elected, my family and I have endured many remarks made toward me, not in jest, but out of malice, anger and hatred. That, however, does not justify my remarks. As a matter of conscience, I regret having made these comments and apologize to all who were offended,” Cunningham said.

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