If all goes well, and as expected, Hamilton County Chancellor Jeff Atherton will tell a group representing the Democratic Party not to ever again clutter his office or his courtroom with such a childish amount of political poppycock as will be brought on display tomorrow. The Democrats want to block Robin Smith, a longtime Republican stalwart, from becoming our next State Representative in District 28 and Chancellor Atherton should ceremoniously pull the plug from this soap opera in the early minutes.
And what a soap opera it has been since veteran legislator Gerald McCormick had a change of plans and resigned as House Majority leader. His wife Kim was awarded a job with the State Board of Regents and Gerald figured it would be more fun working with an engineering firm in Nashville rather than continue the political jangle.
But the decision came after the deadline to run in the 2018 election and the Dems immediately claimed the candidate, David Jones, should run unopposed. Election Administrator Kerry Steelman said McCormick's withdrawal fit the guidelines for reopening qualifications. Ron Harr tested the water for a run but when Robin Smith stepped forward, her name was accepted by the commission – kinda.’
With chairman Mike Walden unable to attend, secretary Jerry Summers asked the next meeting be slightly delayed due to an early and brief medical commitment. But when Summers showed up around 8:30 a.m., the others on the commissioners had not only approved Robin Smith but had already vamoosed.
During the Aug. 4 primary Robin got an easy win but not so with the Democrats’ pick. Last spring Jean-Marie Lawrence petitioned and qualified to run in District 26 but, because she is wheelchair bound, Lawrence had made the decision to move to more comfortable surroundings outside of the district. By law, Lawrence is not required to have a physical residence in D-26 until the day she is sworn into office.
But, wait: this is the best: With no signs, political promises, media appearances or, heaven forbid, a debate, she beat the shocked Jones and equally embarrassed Democrat machine by about 300 votes – 1,971 to 1,668. Now is this beginning to sound like a soap opera?
Here’s what Election Commissioner Mike Walden said so succinctly: "This cake is baked. 2,760 people have already voted in House District 26 in early voting. This was on July 26. We have got to stop these people from Nashville from filing these ridiculous lawsuits. It's much ado about nothing,” adding, “frivolous lawsuits by Nashville lawyers" are costing local taxpayers money.
“I can’t imagine a judge who would invalidate the commission's action,” Walden said, speaking for everyone with any shred of common sense in Southeastern Tennessee. The whole scheme is a sham and it is a brutal reflection of the statesmanship and the ethical character the Democrats have frittered away in recent election cycles. This begs a blistering admonition from Judge Atherton when the right time presents itself.
About a month ago Robin commented on the court challenged, “The party that told Americans they 'go high' never misses a chance to take the low road." She said. “While I am saddened for voters in District 26 and taxpayers of our county, Democrats have removed all doubt in this state: they have no winning policies and no winning principles guiding their elections. Their desperation is obvious and will be futile.”
"Claiming any action is justified as 'resistance,' when what it really means is ‘win at any cost’ the Tennessee Democrat Party knows that I legally qualified for the election and the Hamilton County Election Commission approved the ballot. This frivolous lawsuit will cost Hamilton County taxpayers money as the Election Commission fights in court to uphold their correct decision.”
"Whether it’s intimidation and threats against public officials or attempting to deny candidates access to the ballot and deny you the opportunity to vote,” she said, “it’s the leadership of the democrat party who always show their true colors”
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* -- "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light." – Plato
* -- “No man has a good enough memory to make a successful liar.” -- Abraham Lincoln
* -- “There's no substitute for guts.” -- Paul "Bear" Bryant
* -- “Listen to me, mister. You're my knight in shining armor. Don't you forget it. You're going to get back on that horse, and I'm going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we're gonna go, go, go!” – from the movie, ‘On Golden Pond.’
* -- “Every man dies. Not every man really lives.” from the movie, ‘Baveheart.