If you are a political junkie like myself, and I assume you are or you would not be reading this blog, you probably already know that Republicans did not do well in Davidson County. If while focusing on the U. S. Senate races, you missed what happened locally, well it did not go well at all. Except for Beth Harwell who sailed to an easy victory taking 63% of the vote, Republicans lost.
I thought Jim Gotto would win and I was thinking maybe Troy Brewer would win, but it didn't happen. Still, however, Republicans made Democrats work and spend money to keep their seats and Republicans made a respectable showing. By making them work to hold Davidson County, that may have kept them from helping candidates in other parts of the state.
All of the Republicans who ran for office are to be thanked and honored for running a good race and being willing to enter the arena.
Here is a breakdown of last night's election in Davidson County:
Governor Haslam got 71,370 votes and Democrat Charlie Brown, who has no experience, has no credentials, ran no campaign, had no endorsements and spend no money got 47,150 votes. Other candidates got some votes with John Jay Hooker coming in third with 7,174 votes. Of the 133,874 votes cast, the Democrat got 35% of the vote. It appears there is a diehard Democrat base who would vote for Charles Manson or Winnie the Poo if they were running as a Democrat.
Amendment #1 which would allow the State to regulate the abortion industry got 46,539 "yes" votes and 91,588 "no" votes. Nashville voters are 66% pro-abortion-on-demand with no restrictions.
Amendment # 2 to change the way we elect judges: yes 81,126; no 54,324.
Amendment #3 to ban an State income tax: yes 77,593; 55,157 "no." That is 41% voted to have the right to have a state income tax. This is interesting. If you look at Amendment which is a social issue, 66% of Nashville voters were very liberal, but on a fiscal issue they were only 41% liberal. So, there is hope.
Amendment #4 which would allow veteran groups to hold a once-a-year lottery, the "yes" vote was 85,887 and the "no" was 43,324.
For Senate Lamar Alexander received 59,773 votes and Gordon Ball got 69,248 votes. Discounting the few votes that went to third party candidates, Ball got 53% of the vote.
For U. S. House of Representatives, Jim Cooper got 88,726 votes and Republican Bob Ries got 45,375 votes. So, Ries got 33% of the vote. That is pretty good. A better known and better funded candidate could have made that a more competitive race. Still, if you look at the margin by which Ball beat Alexander, even a well-known, well-funded candidate could have probably not gotten more votes than the 47% won by Alexander in that race. So one might could conclude that 33% of the voters are Republican and 35% are diehard Democrats and the balance are persuadable but tending Democrat.
In Senate District 19, Thelma Harper won an overwhelming victory and Republican candidate Sterlina Brady's campaign never got off the ground.
In Senate District 21, Democrat Jeff Yarbro got 25,336 votes (66%) to Diane Cuellar's 12,684. I am really disappointed in this outcome. I got to feel like I knew Cuellar. She is smart and accomplished and personable and worked very hard. I knew Yarbro had the advantage, having ran before and almost having beat long-time incumbent Senator Dogulas Henry two years ago. Still, I did not expect such a big win for Yarbro. I do not however think we have seen the last of Cuellar. I think she has what it takes to make a good candidate and I expect to hear more form her in the future.
Tennessee House District 50 saw Bo Mitchell keep his seat getting 9,102 votes to Troy Brewer's 8.672. I thought this one was a toss up and we might take it. I would have really like to have seen Bo Mitchell defeated. By taking only 51% of the vote, this is far from a safe Democrat seat and in two years I expect another strong Republican challenger.
Tennessee House District 51 saw Republican Brain Mason lose to Democrat Bill Beck, 3,555 to 9,033.
Tennessee House District 53 saw incumbent Democrat Jason Powell keep his seat getting 6,068 vote to 4,920 votes for Republican John Wang. While I wish we would have won, I knew this was a predominantly Democratic district and a Republican winning 44% of the vote is, I think, pretty good. John Wang has a compelling story having fled Communist China with nothing and having become successful in America. Despite losing, Republicans made inroads into the immigrant community. This district is quite diverse and Republicans have won Hispanic, Kurdish, and Asian voters to the Republican cause. Even though we lost, I am pleased that we challenged the incumbent. We have shown that Republicans can compete with new immigrant voters. In some circles there seems to be an assumption that immigrants will automatically vote for the Democrat. That is not so. When Republicans reach out to the immigrant communities, we can win those votes.
Tennessee House District 60 saw Democrat incumbent Darren Jernigan retain his seat in a rematch with Republican Jim Gotto. This is the race that is most disappointing to me. I expected Jim to retake this seat. He lost it to Jernigan by only a few votes two years ago and I thought that with no draw at the top of the ticket that would motivate Democrats to go to the polls, that Jim Gotto could retake it. Gotto got 7,307 votes to Jernigan's 8,328.
For complete election results, follow this link. To read the Tennessean's take on the local races, follow this link.