Friday, August 6, 2010

Election results and reflections

If one logs on to the website of the Tennessee Department of Elections, one gets this message:

Due to the unprecedented volume of traffic on our web site, our servers have crashed," said Blake Fontenay, spokesman for the Division of Elections. "As a result, we will not be able to continue to offer updates on election results throughout the evening. This service was something new that we tried this year - and we apologize for the inconvenience. When we receive the final results, we will post them online in a PDF format, as we have in years past.
I had hoped to post some results and comment but those exact numbers are not available.

Senator Henry only won by two votes! Henry has been kept in office for years by the votes of Republicans. This year many people who would have voted for Henry voted in the Republican primary. We can expect this election outcome to be contested. We can certainly expect a recount and maybe a challenge.

If you are familiar with the case of Rosalind Kurita, you will recall that she was a Democrat state senator who outpolled her opponent by just 19 votes to rewin her party's nomination. However, her opponent alleged that Republicans voted in the Democrat party primary and the party took her nomination away from her and awarded it to her opponent. Although many traditional Henry supported voted in the Republican primary this year, I don't think you would have to look too hard to find three Republicans who voted for Henry. Henry, however, has not angered the Democrat establishment the way Kurita had done, so I don't know if that tactic would work. Nevertheless we can expect a drawn out process and I predict both sides will charge voter irregularities. If Henry ends up losing the nomination in a legal battle, I suspect Henry Democrats will come over and support the Republican candidate Steve Dickerson in droves.

Eric Crafton loses to David Smith in the Juvenile Court Clerk's race. I was very disappointing by this outcome. I worked the polls for Eric and the phone banks and was invested in this campaign. I have come to know Eric. He is a good person and was by far the more qualified candidate. He has a real heart for children and would have made a great administrator of this office.

I think the outcome was something like 55% for David Smith and 45% for Eric. I knew it would be an up hill battle to take this seat I but was hopeful. I thought that since this there was so much more interest in the Republican primary than the Democrat primary that Republican would outvote Democrats, which they did. I thought this would benefit Eric. If Eric would have won, it would have been the first time in the history Davidson County a Republican won one of the Courthouse seats. In addition to knowing Eric was the best qualified person for the job, I wanted Republicans to crack that Democrat monopoly on Davidson County. Another reason I wanted Eric to win, is because I did not want to see David Smith win. I don't know David, but he is the son of Mack Smith. For any who are old enough or who have been here long enough to remember the era of Bill Boner and Fate Thomas, you may recall the name Mack Smith. I suspect the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Anyway, Eric lost. Apparently many who voted Republican in the primary did not vote in the General Election. Also, I suspect that Eric's involvement in the English first bill, while helping him with some voters hurt him with others and may have had a net negative impact on his candidacy for this office. I still think Eric may have a future for higher office and wish him well.

Republicans did not break that Democrat courthouse strangle hold on Davidson County this year, but this is the first time we have even had a Republican primary in, something like, 38 years. We should not give up. Even if Republicans don't win, we are forcing Democrats to spend money and effort to hold on to their seats. That is money and effort that is not being used to defeat Republicans somewhere else. Also, it may take a while to get people accustomed to having contested elections.

Looking forward to November, we have a good chance to take some State House seats. Jim Gotto's chances of taking Ben West old seat looks very good. We also have good candidates in Charles Williamson, Tim Lee, and Duane Dominy who are each challenging sitting Democrats.

On a more personal note, I had a blast tonight. My lovely wife Louella and I started the evening off at the Union Station Hotel where Steve Gill broadcast election returns and analysis live. I also spend time in the Republican Party war room networking and chatting with fellow Republicans and watching the returns come in. I then went to the Haslam Party at the Hilton Hotel. I met and chatted with a lot of people and enjoyed the exuberance of the Haslam victory. After that started winding down, Louella and I and another couple went around the block to Lower Broad where we drank and danced and talked for a couple more hours. I do not claim to be a great writer, however if this post seems a little less polished than usual it may be due to the late hour, being tired and too many adult beverages.

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