Thursday, August 7, 2014

Who I'm supporting in the Aug 7th General Election and the Republican Primary

The General Election

In any race in which there is a Republican running against a Democrat, I am supporting the Republican.  I am a Republican and I think it is important to build the Party from the ground up. I am not so partisan however, that I would not support a Democrat if the Democrat was significantly more qualified or it the Republican was a fringe nut-job. There are also some Democrats that I would have a hard time voting against simply because I like them, such as Charlie Cardwell. I have know him a long time and think he is a person of talent and integrity and am pleased he does not have a Republican opponent.  Also, I like Judge Bill Higgins.  I would support him even if he had a Republican opponent.  Also, Amanda McClendon. She performed my and Louella's wedding and I worked closely with her on some issues when she represented the district I used to represent in the Metro Council, so I would have a very difficult time voting against her unless there was a powerful reason to do so.

Adam Dread

We have good Republican candidates running for office and I am comfortable supporting all of our Republican candidates. Some of them, I have gotten to know during this campaign and think they are well qualified and are really good people. Those Judicial candidates I am especially pulling for are Jim Roberts running for Chancery Court Part 2; Sabrina Johnson Orr, Chancery Court Part 1; Marian Cheadle Fordice, General Session Judge Division 1; and Adam Dread, General Sessions Judge Division 9.

Marian Cheadle Fordice
 One can vote in any race listed on the general election ballot. Sometimes there is confusion. While both Jim Roberts and Sabrina Johnson Orr are running for a Chancery Court seat, it is different offices and you can vote for both.

I am supporting Toni Eaton for County Clerk.  I personally like current clerk Brenda Wynn but she is too tied to the Democratic machine and has hired too many partisan Democrats to fill positions including the former state rep. Janice Sontany. I would like for this office to be in Republican hands.

In Council District 1, I am supporting William Guthoerl.  While I have been disappointed in some Republicans who have served in the Metro Council and have voted just like Democrats, I do not believe William Guthoerl will disappoint. He told me he would have voted against the recently passed Metro benefits for same sex couples bill, he would oppose Metro's sponsorship of a youth pavilion at the gay pride festival, he would oppose price fixing and he would be conservative on fiscal matters.  I think he will make a good councilman.
William Guthoerl

In the school board races, I am supporting challengers against incumbents.  I have been very disappointed with our current school board and want a change. In School Board District 8, however, if Michael Hayes was running again, I would be supporting him.  I watch almost every School Board meeting and have found Hayes to be reasonable and to ask the questions I would ask if I was on the School Board.  I think he is one of the two good members of the school board, the other being Alissa Kim.  It is too bad Hayes is stepping down. I wish he was running again.

I do not have a lot of in depth knowledge about the candidates for school board.  I have not attended any candidates forums and I do not personally know any of the candidates. I am basing my selections on word of mouth, who is supporting whom, and the candidates position on school choice. I am a supporter of charter schools and want to support candidates who are not hostile to charters.

In School Board District 2, I am supporting Bernie Driscoll; in District 4, Rhonda Dixon; in District 6, Tyese Hunter; and in District 8, Mary Pierce.

In the retention elections for Judges, I am voting "replace" on all. I don't know enough about the particular judges to know if any of them or excellent judges who should be retained, but when in doubt my default position is "replace" as a matter of principle, because I do not believe retention elections are really elections.

The Republican Primary

I will be voting in the Republican Primary.  Everyone needs to know that you can vote for whomever you want in the General Election and then still vote in the primary of your choice.  If you vote for a Democrat in the General Election, you can still vote in the Republican State Primary. Those two elections are totally separate.

For Governor I am supporting Bill Haslam. I think he has done an excellent job as governor and he has no serious opponents in the primary.

For Senate, I am supporting Lamar Alexander.  I know some conservatives think Lamar is insufficiently conservative, and while I disagree with him on some issues, he is hardly a liberal. He is conservative enough for Newt Gingrich and Art Laffer and David Keene, the former head of the National Rifle Association and former Chair of the American Conservative Union.   Lamar has shown more commitment to some conservative ideas than other Republicans who are often thought of as more conservative.   Lamar not only opposes raising the minimum wage, but thinks it should be abolished. On the other hand, Lamar has disappointed me by supporting Cash for Clunkers and the Internet sales tax.

Part of the reason I am stubbornly supporting Lamar, is because I have supported him for a very long time and feel invested in him.  I remember when Tennessee was overwhelmingly Democrat and our governor was the corrupt Ray Blanton who was selling pardons to prisoners and engaging in all sorts of other corruption. Lamar had became known by running an unorthodox campaign that involved walking all the way from Mountain City in the North East corner of the state to Memphis in the South west corner. He wore a red plaid flannel shirt for the walk. I was thrilled to see Lamar beat Blanton and I donned a red plaid shirt and walked with hundreds of other people up Charlotte to the Capitol for his swearing in. I got a button that said something like, "I walked the last mile with Lamar," and it had those words on a red plaid background. I think I still have it.

In addition to being invested in Lamar and remembering fondly earlier campaigns, I am supporting Lamar, because his main primary opponent is an unqualified nut-job.  Carr believes the second amendment gives you the right to carry a gun onto the property of another who may not want guns on his property.  He also supports the discredited theory of nullification. He would have local police arrest Federal agents carrying out federal law in Tennessee. If Lamar had a talented intelligent conservative running against him such as Ron Ramsey or Senator Mark Green, I would have to think twice about my support of Lamar; with Joe Carr being his opponent, I don't have to think twice. If Joe Carr should somehow win the nomination, I think the Democrat nominee would take the seat. Once the general electorate discover who Carr is, I don't think he could be elected.

For 5th Congressional nominee, I am supporting Bob Ries.  Bob is a likeable guy, a solid conservative and he has ran for the seat before.  His opponents have not had as visible a campaign for the nomination as has Bob Ries. Whichever candidate gets the nomination they will have a hard time unseating Jim Cooper, but of those running I think Bob Ries would have the best chance. I wish we had a well known office holder such as Beth Harwell running for the nomination or a wealthy, enormously successful business man like Lee Beaman, but we don't. I wish Bob well. If he gets the nomination, I will contribute to his campaign and vote for him.

Diana Cuellar
In the 21st Senatorial District, I am supporting Diana Cuellar.  This race belies the claim that the Republican Party is the party of old white men. This race is the picture of diversity with a Hispanic women, an African-American male, and a Muslim Kurdish immigrant running for this seat and no old white man.  Whichever candidate wins, I hope the party will rally behind him or her.

The winner of this race will be running against either Jeff Yarbro or Mary Mancini. I wish it would be Mancini. Mancini is a left wing activist and would be easier to run against than Yarbro who is not so scary to moderates. He is probably just as liberal but he is not the activist that Mancini is. Most likely Jeff Yarbro will win the Democratic primary. While the district is Democrat, portions of it was the old district represented by the retiring Senator Henry.  Senator Henry was a conservative Democrat of the type of which there are no more, and many of those who in the past had voted for Henry may be ready to cross party lines when they see how far to the left is Jeff Yarbro.  I think Diana Cuellar would have the best chance of beating Jeff Yarbro, or should Mary Mancini beat Yarbro in the primary, Diana would be the best candidate to run against Mancini.

In the 51st district, I am supporting Brian L. Mason.  I don't either candidate well but Josh Rawlings, the other contender, is very young. I just think Mason would stand a better chance of taking on the Democrat challenger. District 51 is the House District seat currently being held by Mike Turner who is not seeking reelection. Democrats seeking that nomination are Jennifer Buck Wallace, former executive director of the Tennessee Democratic Party, Stephen Fotopulos, the former Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition executive director, and attorney Bill Beck.  Beck, has the support of former Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell, Sheriff Daron Hall, former Senator Joe Haynes and former Judge Barbara Haynes and is most likely to be the Democrat nominee. (For more info see this.)

We have several other good candidates who are running unopposed for the nomination for the seat they are seeking and they deserve your support: John Wang in 53rd Representative District, Beth Harwell in the 56st Representative  District, and Jim Gotto in the 60th. If you are in a District with no Republican running, write in your own name.

Also on the ballot are people seeking seats to the State Executive Committee of the Republican Party.  Each State Senatorial district gets to elect one man and one women to the Executive Committee.

For State Executive Committee in District 18, I do not know either of the candidates for the male seat or the female seat, so I am not making a recommendation at this time in either of those contested races.  If I learn more, I may update this post with a recommendation, so look for updates.

Please vote against Mark Winslow
In District 19, I am supporting D. J. King and I do not evem know Mr. King, but his opponent is Mark Winslow and I would vote for anybody but Winslow. Mark Winslow has been a very controversial figure having once sued the Republican Party. The most recent controversy evolving Winslow is that he has worked to elect a Democrat who is running for a seat being sought by a Republican. In the Democrat primary he worked for Melissa Blackburn.  The Republican running for that seat is Marian Cheadle Fordyce. It is my understanding that Ms. Blackburn is the wife of the person who was Winslow's lawyer when Winslow was suing the Republican Party.

Is this Mark Winslow working for a Democrat candidate?
Please vote against Mark Winslow!
Winslow claims he supported her candidacy because she is a client of the firm he works for.  He reportedly has claimed that since the primary, he has not been working for her. However, I have heard from several people that he still is doing so.  In fact someone sent me the accompanying picture that shows someone putting up yard signs for her.  The picture is blurry and I do not have first hand knowledge that, that is Winslow, but I absolutely trust the person who sent me the picture. These were taken at Karen Bennett's Amqui Station fundraising event on July 17. Also on Tuesday night of that week he was with Melissa Blackburn at a Democrat Meet the Candidates event at Farmers Market.

I find it an absolute outrage and disgusting that a member of the State Executive Committee would work for a Democrat against a Republican.  If he must work for a Democrat because the Democrat is a client of his employer, then he should resign his position the SEC. Members of the State Executive Committee of the Republican Party are supposed to support Republican candidates. Winslow's candidacy for the right to run for the position of member of the State Executive Committee was challenged but Party Executive Director Chris Devaney refused to remove Winslow from the ballot. Please, Please vote against Mark Winslow. For more information on Winslow, follow this link. When I reported on this issue earlier, Winslow threated to sue me, so who know what he may do now.

Bob Schwartz
In District 20 for State Executive Committee, I am supporting Bob Schwartz.   Bob is a good friend of mine. He is a loyal Republican, a principled conservative, hard working and a man of integrity. He has a lot of credentials and would make an excellent member of the State Executive Committee.

There are several other candidates seeking seats on the state Executive Committee who do not have opposition.

We have a real chance to win some Republican seats in Davidson County this election and again in November. Please do not fail to vote and encourage a friend to vote. To see a sample ballot follow this link.

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