Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Republican picnic straw poll: Cece Heil, Jeff Hartline, and Bob Schwartz lead in the 5th Congressional race.

Everyone else an "also ran."

Over 500 people attended the Davidson County Republican Party Picnic today in the pavilion at Centennial Park. It was a great event with blaring patriotic music, barbecue, speeches, one-on-one interaction with the candidates, and a straw poll. All of the candidates for governor were there and they mingled and worked the crowd.

The straw poll revealed what has widely been the perception of informed observers in the 5th Congressional district race and that is that the two front runners are Cece Heil and Jeff Hartline and Bob Schwartz is in third place but trailing. In the straw poll a total of 405 people cast ballots, however not everyone voted in all races.

In the straw poll for the 5th Congressional District Cece Heil came in first with 122 votes, Jeff Hartline came in second with 118 and Bob Schwartz came in, in third place with 72 votes. Below is the total breakdown:

David Hall- 12
Jeffery Alan Hartline- 118
Cece Heil- 122
Vijay Kumar- 10
Patrick Miranda- 5
Bob Ries- 10
Bob Schwartz- 72
Jarod D. Scott- 7
Lonnie Speak- 10
Alvin M. Strauss- 0
Tracy C. Tarun-3

I am not very surprised by these poll results. Many people, I think, thought David Hall would pull more votes but I never thought he would do much better than he did. I am surprised that Patrick Miranda did not do better, however. Patrick is a very likable guy and in the early days of the campaign he campaigned hard and was everywhere. I thought he would be a tea party favorite. I did not think he was a front-runner but thought that he would do better than next to last.

Several of the candidates had a big presence at the picnic with signs lining the approaches to the event, decorated booths with their literature, and campaign workers wearing campaign shirts and handing out literature. Each of the candidates present made a three minute speech to the crowd but the candidates worked the crowd shaking hands and meeting people one-on-one and asking them for their vote.

Five of the candidates however were absent. Alvin M. Strauss is not a surprise. No one has ever met him. He is just a name on the ballot and has never had an active campaign. He was not expected. The absence of the other candidates however is puzzling. The other no-shows were Patrick Maranda, V. J. Kumar, Tracy Tarum and David Hall.

Patrick Maranda is said to have an illness in is family that has kept him off the campaign trail and V. J. Kumar is said to have a job conflict that interferes with his campaign schedule. I have no idea where was Tracy Tarum.

Most puzzling is David Hall. He had had a very active campaign with big signs, radio and TV ads, robo calls, mailings, a large RV professionally painted like a tour bus and has had a major presence at other events. He has spend a lot of money in his campaign. However, some weeks ago David Hall stopped attending the Egg and Bacon summits that have been occurring across the county. Where was David Hall?

The DCRP picnic was the place to be to meet Republicans who make campaign contributions, who volunteer, who influence others and who always vote. Maybe the no-shows have a good reason why they could not be present at this event. Maybe they have a strategy for winning the Republican primary that involves by-passing Republicans, but I think they missed the boat. If there was one event a candidate should have attended it is this one. I think it is reasonable to ask if the no-shows are suspending their campaign.

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  1. Well, I'm not surprised that David Hall didn't do any better than he did. He is an egomaniac and has no respect from anyone that knows him.

    While I am disappointed that Bob Schwartz didn't win, I think his showing proves that he is moving up into the top tier of candidates. He is a man of integrity and he has my vote.

  2. Heil's vote count was 122, Hartline 118.

    Great overviews of the day, Rod. Don't forget to mention that Winfield Dunn award. You've certainly earned it this year establishing, shepherding and scheduling the Egg & Bacon Summits across the county.


  3. I walked away today really impressed with Bob Schwartz and his campaign. He definitely has my vote.

  4. I agree. Bob Schwartz is the only candidate that seems to understand the issues of the 5th district.

  5. I applaud those who didn't show up to some rigged straw poll! Personally, my vote is going to Patrick Miranda, and I can't blame him for not going to some event put on by a group whose members are stating that he is no longer running (And that includes YOU Rod). You all need to realize that there is more to this district than the DCRP. There are more than 300 republicans (I know that there were 500 people there, but 200 were bought by CeeCee and Hartline, so they don't count) in this district.

  6. Hi Rod,

    Thank you for not tearing into me too much do to the illness of my son. I do appreciate it.

    But, honestly, let's keep things in perspective. If I wanted to spend $2500 to buy votes, I would have been VERY competitive. As it stands, Bob Schwartz was the true winner of the straw poll. Thus, the presumed "front runners" should have been the true losers of the straw poll (remember, Bob got 50 total votes other than his supporters...that is more than Heil or Hartline). Although I am still actively campaigning, my hat is off for Bob Schwartz! Go Bob!

  7. Well, I just read on FaceBook about Hartline and Heil buying themselves 100 votes each, and I almost busted a gut laughing. I may have to write a song about it. So I had to come read Rod Williams's whitewash—and fell down laughing all over again. Mark Twain should be alive today. Only he could do justice to the self-aggrandizing pomposity of hypocrisy.

  8. Bob Schwartz is the best candidate for Congress in the 5th District. I hope he is able to get his message out and win the primary as he is the only one that can beat cooper. Please visit his website at

  9. I can assure you that Jeff Hartline didn't purchase any votes, much less 100. That's absurd. Our campaign purchased a total of 10 straw poll tickets and 14 total meal tickets (young children were not allowed to vote - as it should be).

    Anyone saying Jeff purchased 100 tickets is lying. The assertion that we paid for 100 votes is baseless. As for the other campaigns, I cannot speak for them.

  10. Wes,

    This has been reported from multiple sources who were at the event. I think your love for your father has blinded you to the facts.

    Fact number 1 is that your father is unelectable regardless of how much money he has raised.

    Fact number 2 is that Bob Schwartz is the best candidate to run against Jim Cooper in November. Please visit Bob's website at to join the team.

  11. I attended the event and never found the area to place my strawpoll vote. The sound system wasn't strong enough to hear many of the speakers over the noise of the crowd, so if there were instructions regarding the poll, those were missed.

    The other people attending with me also did not cast their votes.

  12. I'm surprised you couldn't find the voting booths, Anonymous. There were LARGE sample ballots next to the ladies room where you entered the polling place and a very long line of folks waiting to vote. The 4 voting booths were clearly visible through the window of the building they were in. Additionally, there were EC members wearing badges roaming throughout the crowd, you could have asked any of them, or the people at any of the booths, to include the DCRP's own tables, where to vote.

    I'll consider this a suggestion for better signage and more volume next year.

    Kay Brooks
    Region 1 Chair

  13. Jeff S(ullivan?),

    If you refuse to believe the truth, then there's little I can do to change your mind. However, provide some proof. Any evidence to support your lies, and I will do a double check on our side. Let me be abundantly clear: you are wrong.

    I purchased every single ticket we bought. I know exactly how many we were given, and said so in my prior posting. in reality, we had one straw poll vote go unused due to a staffer being unable to attend.

    So, best of luck. And for the record, hearsay is not evidence, and it certainly isn't here.

  14. Wes, regardless of what you say, all I hear is "please vote for my daddy. I think he's great"

    Personally, I am going to vote for someone I'm not related to: Bob Schwartz

  15. Wes, I suppose I should clarify my statement. My statement was meant to include those individuals who came with the candidate and was part of his contingency.

    As such, I feel Schwartz did better as more people not tied to a particular campaign voted for Schwartz as opposed to your dad or Heil-Noland.

    I will attempt to be more accurate with my future statements. However, I still feel Schwartz will win the primary and defeat Cooper in the fall.

  16. Wes,
    The person who told me is a member of the DCRP. I was assuming they knew what they were talking about! If we are all wrong, please prove it!

  17. Wes Hartline sed: "Our campaign purchased a total of 10 straw poll tickets . . . Anyone saying Jeff purchased 100 tickets is lying . . . I purchased every single ticket we bought."

    Okay, Wes. Let's take all that at face value. You made the straw poll purchases that were of record for "our campaign" (meaning officially for the Hartline Campaign) and there were 10 of them.

    The question I have is how many tickets Andy Miller bought.