by Mark Rogers
One of the most important primary races in Tennessee this year is the 6th Congressional District battle between Congressman Diane Black and Lou Ann Zelnick. This is the continuation of the 2010 Republican primary between these two and State Senator Jim Tracy. Black won by a few hundred votes and a bitter legal battle developed that lasted for well over a year.
The 6th District race matter for two reasons.
First, it matters that Tennessee keep a hard-working highly capable conservative like Diane Black in Congress. Unlike too many members of Congress, including Republicans, Diane Black gets to know the nuances of complex policy issues rather than just chanting ideological talking points. She is willing to put in the hard work to develop effective solutions. As a state senator, she was crucial in ensuring that a substantial number of state programs had to be built on evidence-based models, ensuring that those programs worked.
For the Republican party to rebuild America's economy and fix health care, we need studious and thoughtful conservatives like Diane. Otherwise we risk falling into the trap that ruined us in the early 2000s. Under the leadership of Tom DeLay the Republicans in the House worried more about selling out to lobbyists and passing symbolic nonsense rather than actually governing well.
Diane Black is a natural leader for the Congressional Republicans and a great example of a citizen legislator.
The second reason to keep Diane Black in Congress is that we need to prevent the extremists from pushing the party so far to the fringe that we will lose any chance of building coalitions with swing voters who prefer conservatives but not ideologues.
Her opponent seems to be more interested in revenge and personalities rather than policy or the future of the Republican party. Voters in the 6th Congressional District should know that after losing the Republican primary for State House in Rutherford County, Congressman Black's challenger blamed elected officials for her loss rather than admit that she ran a poor campaign. Notice a pattern here?
Diane's opponent hurts the party and America by blindly lumping all Muslims into the same stereotype. Rather than focusing on the dangerous militants, she seems set on making the issue one of America vs Islam, which is unfair to millions of Muslims who are also loyal Americans. The nonsense surrounding the hiring at ECD of the highly qualified Samar Ali is just the kind of thing that rhetoric like her's encourages.
Diane Black will put the interests of America above the demands of special interests. She will reduce unnecessary government and improve the efficiency of the necessary parts. She will support reforms that bring back jobs and strengthen education for the next generation of technology.
She will work to protect America from our real enemies, not create new or imaginary enemies.
If you live in the 6th Congressional District, please vote for Diane Black in the Republican Primary. If you don't live in the 6th, be sure to let friends who do know that it is vital to help re-elect a great Congressman like Diane Black.