Monday, February 8, 2016

You can only vote in the primary of one party.

Early voting will start this Wednesday here in Nashville.  There will be both the Republican and Democrat Presidential preference primaries and the County Democrat Primary. Tennessee does not have Party registration, so if you have never voted in a party primary before, you can choose which primary you want to vote in when you go to the polls.  If you have voted in primary elections before but in the last primary election you voted in the Democrat primary, nothing stops you from voting in the Republican primary this election. 

I keep hoping the Republican Party will run candidates for courthouse offices and in the last few elections there have been some candidates run for offices such as Judge, Juvenile Court Clerk, and County Court Clerk, but this year no Republicans are seeking any of the County elected positions. That is a shame.  To build the Party we need to field candidates. In the past, some of the races for judge were fairly close but generally Republicans have not fared well in seeking courthouse offices and the elections have not been very close. We had some very good candidates run for the various judgeships, but in all honesty, some of our candidates for some of the other offices have been token candidates and their credentials were no match for the incumbent Democrats. Even when Republicans have the more qualified candidate, it is still very difficult to defeat the entrenched courthouse crowd machine that has developed over decades.

George Rooker, the current Assessor of Property, is being challenged in the upcoming Democrat primary by Vivian Wilhoite for the position of the Democrat Party's nominee for Assessor of Property. Rooker has been an able administrator of the Assessors office and has been recognized for doing an outstanding job. He has earned the IAAO (International Association of Assessing Officers) Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award, the highest honor bestowed on any assessment jurisdiction in the nation.  He has also received various other awards of distinction. Since he has been the Assessor of Property, he has greatly increased the professionalism of the staff, having increased the number of certified property appraisers from 11 to 40.  His challenger has no credential in the field of appraisal and not much else to recommend her. Since there is not going to be a Republican on the ballot seeking that office, whoever wins the Democrat primary election in March has, in effect, won election to that office.

I would like to vote for George Rooker for Appraiser of Property, but I can't because I will be voting in the Republican Primary for my preferred choice for the Republican nominee for President.   If one wants to vote in the Republican Presidential primary, one may not also vote in the Democrat County primary.  You can only vote in the primary of one party. When it comes to the County offices, I hope my Democrat friends vote for George Rooker. 

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