By Steve Hunley

Democrats Successes…Republicans Not So Much

Local Democrats have sent out an email bragging about the results of the recent election.  Among the accomplishments, they boast of are “flipping 7 precincts blue that Trump won in 2020.”  The Democrats also noted they have managed to flip a seat in Knox County.  The email stated, “Over the last number of months we have contacted THOUSANDS of Democrats in Knox County and urged them to go to the polls.  We are more organized than the local GOP… BUT NOW they’ve caught on.”  The email asks for contributions, saying they need $5,000 to keep their field operations running.

It is certainly true that local Democrats are better organized than Knox County Republicans.  While the Democrats have an eager young party chair in Matt Shears, the GOP is afflicted by a party chair who is lazy, has fostered primary challenges and divided the party, all the while trying to monetize elections by going into the campaign consulting business (remember the Angle Group?).  No Republican could help but notice Daniel Herrera was missing in action during the recent general election, only to appear on the night of the election.  Since that time, Herrera has trudged about, trying to take credit for races candidates won that he had less than nothing to do with.

While Democrats spent a small fortune on paid full-time organizers and had a ground game to get out their voters, Herrera was dining in Nashville at the Statesman’s Dinner, along with his hand-picked minions at a table costing $5,000.  It was Herrera and his predecessor, Randy Pace, who pushed Christine Cruz (who promptly hired the Angle Group as her campaign consultant) to run against incumbent County Commissioner Larsen Jay in the Republican primary.  The fact is, while the Democrats enjoyed bountiful returns by fundraising off Herrera’s loudmouth brags about flipping the Knoxville City Council, he presided over wasting the GOP’s own financial resources, handing Charlie Kirk $20,000 for speaking at the Lincoln Day Dinner.

Herrera’s boast of sweeping the city council fell flat as every Democrat incumbent was handily reelected.  Two years earlier, before Herrera was in office, two Republicans were elected to the Knoxville City Council.  That $20,000 paid to Charlie Kirk, who reputedly pays himself $300,000 annually for chairing Turning Point, USA, would have been better spent on an effort to get out the vote for the GOP in the August general election.

In short, Democrat successes here would likely be somewhat less had Knox County Republicans enjoyed a party chairman who actually did his/her job, instead of making it easier for Democrats to raise gobs of money.  Local Democrats have been aided by having a competent young chairman while Knox County Republicans have been undermined by a self-serving big-mouth who has done more to energize Democrats than any other single thing.


Tennessee Constitutional Amendments

Two Bills are appearing in a commercial together.  Governor Bill Lee and former Governor Bill Haslam have filmed an advertisement touting the proposed Constitutional amendment on behalf of Tennessee’s “Right-to-Work” law.  That particular law means that no Tennessean can be fired due to their having chosen to either join a or not join a union and pay dues.

Aside from both having been elected governor of Tennessee, both are successful businessmen.  In the ad, Haslam says, “…our right-to-work law has been a key ingredient in the effort to bring high wage jobs to Tennessee.”

Tennesseans will cast their ballots on four proposed amendments to Tennessee’s State Constitution.  Be sure to read the story about our local officials urging voters to vote “yes” on the anti-slavery amendment.  County Commissioner Kyle Ward, the sponsor of making Juneteenth an official holiday in Knox County, Commissioner Larsen Jay, Circuit Court Clerk Charlie Susano, County Commissioner-elect Gina Oster, Trustee-elect Justin Biggs, school board member Mike McMillan and others are urging Republicans and Knox Countians to vote in favor of removing language from our Constitution.  That initiative has already been endorsed by Mayor Glenn Jacobs.  Former U.S. Senator Bob Corker is heading up the campaign to pass the anti-slavery amendment to Tennessee’s Constitution.


Get Well, Isabel

Thousands of Knoxvillians and residents of Tennessee’s Second Congressional District have poured out their hearts and prayers for the daughter of Congressman Tim Burchett, Isabel.  Isabel and her mother are well-known from the campaign trail and are just about as popular as the Congressman.  Isabel has an engaging personality of her own and is a devoted horsewoman of ability.  Isabel has been in the hospital following a riding accident and The Knoxville Focus sends its best wishes for a complete and rapid recovery to Isabel!