Early voting could play a huge role in who will be the next Congressman to represent the Chattanooga area in Washington and, if challenger Weston Wamp is going to unseat two-term incumbent Chuck Fleischmann, his millennials will have to flood the four polling sites when convenience voting begins tomorrow.
Wamp, beaten in his political debut two years ago, has spent much of his time this summer bolstering support in the outlying areas of the Congressional 3rd District but with voter dissatisfaction centered on a dysfunctional Congress, he’ll now have to spur the apathetic young voters to give him, the son of former Congressman Zach Wamp, a chance in what is anticipated to be a heated race.
I believe Fleishmann’s marked lack of accomplishments over the past four years, coupled with his stance against any across-the aisle cooperation, gives the eager Wamp the necessary tools to be the most effective Congressman when the 114th session begins in January. Fleischmann, flagrantly shunning President Obama twice during his second term when the president has visited the state, is defiant and angry when – in fact – it is Chuck’s voters who should be.
Several websites list Fleischmann as the most ineffective of the state’s nine representatives in Congress and his lack of presenting workable bills in Congress is shocking – he hasn’t produced one in four years that I can find. While I hope I’ve erred, Fleischmann is widely known as “Do Nothing Chuck” and Wamp has pledged to change that image in Washington. Fleischmann hurt himself badly in a recent debate against Wamp.
Another key battle that could place a seasoned conservative negotiator in Nashville is Patsy Hazlewood’s refreshing bid to take the place of retiring Richard Floyd. Patsy is running against Tommy Crangle, a man who has positioned himself so far to the right it is feared he would not only be ineffective in Nashville but polarizing as well. To Crangle’s credit, he had no idea Patsy would enter the race late.
Early voting will begin Friday and continue through Aug. 2 at four locations. The Election Commission office at 700 River Terminal Road off Amnicola Highway will open at 8 a.m. tomorrow through Aug. 2nd while the other three voting locations will be open from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
The other locations are the Brainerd Recreation Center at 1010 North Moore Road; Eastwood Church at 4300 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road; and Northgate Mall (beside Applebee’s on the outside of the mall.) Election day is Aug. 7 and a photo ID is required in Tennessee.
When I vote, political party means nothing – I vote for people. As a courtesy, I always vote for anyone who is unopposed; I know they’ll take office but I regard my vote as a “thank you” that they are willing to serve the public. That said, here is my list of who I believe will best serve the citizens of Hamilton County and, please, know that my personal beliefs do not reflect those of Chattanoogan.com, any of its staff or photographers, or any other groups or organizations:
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HAMILTON COUNTY GENERAL ELECTION
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, DIV. 1 – J.B. Bennett (unopposed)
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, DIV. 2 – Jeff Hollingsworth (unopposed)
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE DIV. 3 – L. Marie Williams (unopposed)
CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE, DIV. 4 – W. Neil Thomas (unopposed)
CHANCELLOR, PART 1 – Pam McNutt Fleenor (unopposed)
CHANCELLOR, PART 2 – Jeffery M. Atherton (unopposed)
CRIMINAL COURT JUDGE, DIV. 1 – Barry Steelman (unopposed)
CRIMINAL COURT JUDGE, DIV. 2 – Rebecca J. Stern (unopposed)
CRIMINAL COURT JUDGE, DIV. 3 – Don W. Poole (unopposed)
DISTRICT ATTORNEY – Neil Pinkston (unopposed)
PUBLIC DEFENDER – Steven E. Smith over Ardena Garth.
COUNTY MAYOR – Jim Coppinger over Richard D. Ford.
COUNTY COMMISSION, DISTRICT 1 – Randy Fairbacks (over write-in candidate Rhonda Thurman).
COUNTY COMMISSION, DISTRICT 2 – James A. “Jim Fields (unopposed)
COUNTY COMMISSIONER, DISTRICT 3 – Marty Haynes (unopposed)
COUNTY COMMISSION, DISTRICT 4 – Warren Mackey (unopposed)
COUNTY COMMISSION, DISTRICT 5 – Greg Beck (unopposed)
COUNTY COMMISSION, DISTRICT 6 – John Allen Brooks (D) over Joseph “Joe” Graham (R).
COUNTY COMMISSION, DISTRICT 7 – Sabrena Turner (R) over Ezra Maize (D).
COUNTY COMMISSION, DISTRICT 8 – Kenny Smith (D) over Tim Boyd (R).
COUNTY COMMISSION, DISTRICT 9 – Chester Bankston (R) over Melinda Bone (D)
COUNTY TRUSTEE – Bill Hullander (unopposed)
GENERAL SESSIONS COURT JUDGE, DIV. 1 – Christie Mahn Sell over Rex Sparks.
GENERAL SESSIONS COURT JUDGES – Div. 2: David E. Bales; Div. 3: Clarence Shattuck; Div. 4: Lila Statom; Div. 5: Gary Starnes (all unopposed)
JUVENILE COURT JUDGE -- Rob Philyaw (R) over Yolanda Echols Mitchell (D)
SHERIFF -- Jim Hammond (unopposed)
CIRCUIT COURT CLERK – Larry Henry (unopposed)
CRIMINAL COURT CLERK – Gwen Tidwell (D) over Vince Dean (R)
JUVENILE COURT CLERK – Gary D. Behler (unopposed)
COUNTY CLERK – W.F. “Bill” Knowles (unopposed)
REGISTER OF DEEDS – Pam Hurst (unopposed)
SCHOOL BOARD – I make no recommendations, admitting I know too little about the candidates in the nine different districts.
MUNICIPAL VOTES IN COLLEGEDALE, EAST RIDGE, LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, RED BANK, SIGNAL MOUNTAIN AND SODDY-DAISY -- The voters in these towns know the candidates best and will vote accordingly.
STATE GENERAL JUDICIAL RETENTION – Vote “replace” on each one and then petition your legislator to remove the judiciary from the political process. Obviously I’ve never heard of one person on the list – how am I – or anyone else -- to know who to “retain” or “replace?” But now there is this -- our state judges just solicited and raised $600,000 in obvious political donations. It is no wonder Tennessee is regarded as one of the most corrupt states in the country. When a judge on the state’s Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or the Court of Criminal Appeals asks for and receives a “donation,” the legal system is immediately compromised and tainted. Any jurist who is that stupid deserves to be “replaced” and any ruling should be tossed out.
SHALL THE CITY OF CHATTANOOGA’S “DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP” ORDINANCE (ORDINANCE NO. 12781) BE ADOPTED? – Vote “For The Ordinance” because all men and women were “created equal” and should be entitled to “equal” benefits. It is only a question of fairness.
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IN THE STATE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
GOVENOR – Wm. H. “John” McKamey over Charles V. “Charlie” Brown, Kennedy Spellman Johnson and Ron Noonan.
UNITED STATES SENATE – Gordon Ball over Terry Adams, Larry Crim, and Gary Gene Davis.
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 3RD DISTRICT – Mary M. Headrick (unopposed)
TENNESSEE SENATE, 11TH DISTRICT – No candidate qualified.
TENNESSEE HOUSE, 26TH DISTRICT – No candidate qualified.
TENNESSEE HOUSE, 27TH DISTRICT – Eric McRoy (unopposed)
TENNESSEE HOUSE, 28th DISTRICT – JoAnne Favors (unopposed)
TENNESSEE HOUSE, 29th DISTRICT – No candidate qualified.
TENNESSEE HOUSE, 30TH DISTRICT – No candidate qualified.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEMAN, 10TH DISTRICT – Chris Anderson over Billy Joyner and Kenneth D. Love.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEMAN, 11TH DISTRICT – Either Jeff Brown or Victor G. White.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEWOMAN, 10TH DISTRICT – Either Betty Ann Allgood or Sylvia Cintron.
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEWOMAN, 11TH DISTRICT – Either Rita Fehring or Sandra Lusk.
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IN THE STATE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY
GOVERNOR – Bill Haslam over Mark Coonrippy Brown, Basil Marceaux Sr. and Donald Ray McFolin.
U.S. SENATE – Joe Carr over Christian Agnew, Lamar Alexander, George Shea Flinn, John D. King, Brenda S. Lenard, and Erin Kent Magee.
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, 3RD DISTRICT – Weston Wamp over Chuck Fleischmann.
TENNESSEE SENATE, 11TH DISTRICT – Bo Watson (unopposed)
TENNESSEE HOUSE, 26TH DISTRICT – Gerald McCormick (unopposed)
TTENNESSEE HOUSE, 27TH DISTRICT – Patsy Hazlewood over Tommy Crangle
TENNESSEE HOUSE, 28TH DISTRICT – No candidate qualified.
TENNESSEE HOUSE, 29TH DISTRICT – Mike Carter (unopposed)
TENNESSEE HOUSE, 30TH DISTRICT – Marc Gravitt (unopposed)
STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEMAN, 10TH DISTRICT – Oscar Brock (unopposed)
STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEMAN, 11TH DISTRICT – Bobby Wood (unopposed)
STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEWOMAN, 10TH DISTRICT – Emily G Beaty (unopposed)
STATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEWOMAN, 11TH DISTRICT – Tina J. Benkiser (unopposed)