Win or lose, family ties

Andy Sher examines a rich swathe of Tennessee’s political history by stacking-up Weston Wamp’s bid for the Third District seat his father recently held against the fortunes of other politicians’ sons and daughters. One forgets just how many names in our electoral lexicon have been names that previous generations knew well. Baker, Clement, Cooper, Duncan, Ford, Gore, McWherter, and Turner are just some of the families that have contributed more than one member.

It’s a tradition that goes back at least as far as President John Quincy Adams. As the article points out, not all such campaigns are successful. Mike McWherter tested the waters for a 2008 run against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, then quickly decided that the temperature was icy. Two years later, he was all in for another statewide race, this time for governor. His opponent prevailed.

There’s one more local example of political offspring: Oscar Brock, son of former U.S. Sen. Bill Brock, ran for the state Senate seat vacated by former Sen. Ward Crutchfield (another political family, with ties to still others). The younger Brock happened to lose that election, but I felt it was worth mentioning here because it was a particularly amicable campaign, in both the GOP primary that Oscar won and the general election against the eventual winner, Sen. Andy Berke.

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