Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Randy Button called on state Republican Party Chairwoman Beth Harwell today to denounce the candidacy of James L. Hart, Republican nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives for the 8th district.
Mr. Button said Hart campaign literature espouses racism and the idea of eugenics, or “favored races.”
James L. Hart was the victor in Thursday’s Republican primary.
“Today, I call on Beth Harwell and the Republican Party to do the right thing and officially denounce the candidacy of James Hart and his politics of racism and hate,” Mr. Button said. “By remaining silent on this issue, Republicans are giving Hart their unspoken endorsement. James Hart does not represent the values of any political party, Democrat or Republican, and his candidacy is an embarrassment to the state of Tennessee.”
James Hart handily won the August 5th Republican primary over write-in candidate Dennis Bertrand.
In the general election, he will be opposing incumbent Democrat John Tanner.
Later Friday, the group TeamGOP called Mr. Button a “racial opportunist” by "making the insincere and outrageously divisive claim that Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Beth Harwell and the entire Republican Party should denounce the candidacy of James Hart because of his platform of hate and racism."
TeamGOP’s General Chairman and Board Member Jeff Ward called Button’s actions, “racial politics at its lowest common denominator and should be beneath a person like Button who holds a position of responsibility.” Ward declared the actions Button decried had already been done.
Ward denied that Republicans had not condemned the Hart campaign, saying, “That is flatly untrue and is yet another example of gutter politics by the Democrats during an election year that is already going badly for their party.
"Perhaps Mr. Button has not seen a newspaper in the last couple of weeks like The Tennessean, The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, The Knoxville News Sentinel, The LA Times or The Miami Herald and many others where Republican denunciations of Hart’s campaign of hate have been published and often repeated.
"Perhaps Mr. Button has been to busy to look on the internet in the last week on sites from ABCNews.com, FoxNews.com, Newsday.com to the DrudgeReport.com to see these same denunciations and repudiations of James Hart and the wholehearted endorsement of the unsuccessful write-in candidate Dennis Bertrand.
“If Mr. Button had acted responsibly, he would have easily discovered the thousands of emails sent out by Chairman Beth Harwell, TeamGOP, and County Republican Parties from Memphis to Alamo to Republicans and news outlets denouncing Mr. Hart and his racist campaign. Instead, Mr. Button decided to revel in his own self-inflicted ignorance and create racial division in the hopes of political gain for the Democrat Party.”
TeamGOP is a statewide grassroots Republican coalition dedicated to electing Republicans at every level of government and publishes a weekly E-newsletter and operates a political action committee under the same name.