The threat of storms and inclement weather didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of more than 400 people who turned out to show their support for Independent Blount County mayoral candidate Howard Kerr.
Kerr said he was happy with response to the pig roast on July 16 at the pavilion in Bicentennial Greenbelt Park.
“We had a good crowd. There were 400 hamburger buns, and they went through those and had 25 to 30 people who didn’t get a bun. We had gallons of tea and soft drinks, and we went through those because it was hotter than blazes,” Kerr said. “I’m tickled to death. I expected I might get 200 people there, but my socks were knocked off, and everybody was so enthusiastic. They were grabbing signs and asking neighbors to vote.”
Kerr said a group of about 20 people he calls his core group of supporters have been working with him, and they organized the pig roast and took care of ordering T-shirts. “I didn’t do much at this pig roast. Junior Blair and Joe Tarwarter bought a 450-pound hog and did the cooking of the meat and all I did was go up there and eat,” he said.
The group also got 200 yard signs, and when that wasn’t enough, Kerr said he pulled out the campaign signs he used in the 2006 campaign when he ran unsuccessfully for county mayor on the Republican ticket.
“Being the Scotsman I am, in 2006 I picked up all the signs before morning sun hit them after the 2006 election night,” he said.
Kerr said he was also making a statement by re-using the old signs. “This county is going to recycle and reuse stuff. I’m making good use of campaign signs from the last campaign,” he said.
Early voting started on the July 16, the same day as Kerr’s barbecue, and he said if early voter turnout is good, he thinks it will help him. “My view was with a very low turnout in the May election, I was worried there wouldn’t be enthusiasm, but I think voter irritation has set in, and they’ll vote,” he said. “I’m tickled to death this was a spectacular success, and I feel my campaign got a huge boost. I genuinely appreciate all those who came out and supported us and I look forward to serving them as mayor.”