Election Integrity

  • Friday, May 13, 2022

I find the complaints about the recent win by Weston Wamp in the Hamilton County mayor’s primary to be interesting and amusing.  Interesting because of the attempt by some to portray his win as the result of some kind of nefarious manipulation by a group of clergy to get Black voters to crossover and vote for Wamp.  Also interesting because for weeks it was assumed by the local political pundits the GOP winner of the primary would automatically become the next county mayor. Why? Because the GOP has complete control over just about every elected office in Hamilton County.  

Now here’s the amusing part: Tennessee is an open primary state. For those who don’t know what that means: very simply a voter can claim any ballot from either party to vote in the primary.  So, since the Dems have basically been made aware that the GOP primary was more like a general primary with the winner automatically seen as the next county mayor, why not crossover and choose from among the three GOP candidates? Local political pundits had the race basically between Hullander  and Smedley.  Wamp did not ignore certain issues that affect people who aren’t members of the GOP.  So, why would he not be seen as the one most likely to address those issues rather than avoid them?

If you look at the precincts Wamp won and compare his strength in certain precincts to City Mayor Tim Kelly’s runoff win in 2021, one should begin to understand that voters in those precincts might not be a majority but there are enough to make the difference in tight races.  Their issues should not be ignored.  It’s also rather disingenuous and hypocritical to try and assign some political overreach to the clergy that supported Wamp when in the age of Trump evangelicals have preached sermons in his support.

Maybe in all of this there is a lesson for the Democrats and they will figure it out.  It would be nice to have real competitive races rather than a ballot full of open offices because it says no candidate qualified to run for that position.  

Carol M. Thomas

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