Three area bridges renamed after local civil rights and political leaders

Several present and past African American politicians say they are concerned about which two top candidates will emerge in the 6th District City Council race in the Aug. 29 city primary. Some say Jennifer Montgomery, a white Realtor, is likely to be one of the two.

“Jennifer is the most active one,” said former County Commissioner Diane Jordan of the 13 candidates. “She has signs in strategic places, two or three pieces of mail, and a letter. I got a letter about (the) bridge,” which is named after Jordan herself.

In addition, Montgomery accepted an invitation extended by Jordan and her husband, the Rev. John Jordan, pastor of Peace and Goodwill Baptist Church, to attend a service, be recognized and stand with the Jordans afterward for people to meet her, the former public official said.

“I want the candidates exposed. People say they don’t vote because they don’t know the candidates,” Diane Jordan said.

Although she said she has made that offer to all candidates, she’s supporting Gwen McKenzie, wife of former County Commissioner Sam McKenzie. One reason, Jordan said, is that Gwen McKenzie is African American, and Jordan shares the view of former City Councilmen Bob Booker and Theotis Robinson, who have written or spoken about the changing demographics in City Council’s 6th District that could result in African Americans not being elected in the future, possibly beginning this year.

Robinson was the first black elected to council in modern times when the district format was instituted in 1968 as a way to help African Americans be on council. The 6th District was drawn to take in East Knoxville and the Knoxville…