Dr. Robert Overholt
Who is he?
Knoxville's best-known doctor is an allergist and internist whose smiling, concerned face shows up regularly on both WBIR Channel 10 and the local PBS stations (where The Dr. Bob Show airs at 8 p.m. Thursdays and 5 p.m. Saturdays).
Uses hand gestures very effectively.
Speaks in clear, short sentences.
Ran for City Council in the 1970s against current Councilwoman Jean Teague. Lost by narrow margin"It was 11,700 to 11,200. It was a nasty race."
What he learned from it:
"Every citizen should run for office at least once, because then they would realize the importance of their vote."
What would his slogan be if he ran?
"Something like, 'The wisdom to heal our city.'"
How would his TV experience help?
"In modern-day America, political images are more important than political platforms to the voters. That's wrong. But I think the high visibility would make awareness easier."
Secret campaign weapon:
Photos of him in uniform as a Vol (he played left end).
Why the teachers' union would support him:
"I think teachers should be the highest paid people in our society, and they should have the most desirable job in our society."
Why the teachers' union wouldn't support him:
"I do not like tenure. I don't like the fact that someone gets a job and then is there for life. That's not right."
Other issues he'd address:
Inner-city development"I think we need to have more sophisticated inter-neighborhood meeting and connection...I would form a division of neighborhood control in the police department in which the community would work with the police department to develop a neighborhood action plan. People need to participate." Health care"The local issues are, supporting the homeless and indigent. I would work to make sure all the hospitals saw patients equally and funding was given appropriately."
Issue most likely to spark a county-wide war:
"I think any citizen in the county that uses the city roads should pay for the city roads," whether they live in the city or not.
Why would people trust a doctor in office?
"I think a physician who is a healer with high visibility would be looked at as one who is able to give honest judgment, open judgment."
Like Bill Frist, for example?
"I think Bill Frist has done a phenomenal job. He has done his homework as a senator, he's been an invaluable part of our government."
Who would he name a street after?
"I don't know anybody who's achieved the greatness that would be required for me to want to name a street after them...I think Jim Haslam's done more for philanthropy in our city than anyone I know. He's a good man. But I wouldn't name a street after him because he promotes tobacco and alcohol in his business."