Highlight reel for Friday, Feb. 17

Here is your week in Tennessee and Chattanooga politics, going back to last Friday.

Weston Wamp unveiled his campaign slogan and a seven-point policy platform at Monday’s Pachyderm Club meeting. Coach Zach was on-hand.

Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield won a decisive victory against those who seek to recall him. Circuit Court Judge Jeff Hollingsworth ordered the cancellation of the election that had been set by the Hamilton County Election Commission. But the recall group has 30 days to appeal, so unless you hear a curvy mezzo-soprano warbling off in the distance, don’t call this “over.”

The Hamilton County Commission reversed an earlier decision and decided to hand control of PILOT funds back to the Board of Education. That didn’t sit too well with Commissioner Fred Skillern.

In the Legislature, the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill advanced in the Senate, while the House voted to evict Occupy Nashville from the Capitol grounds. Meanwhile, Governor Bill Haslam postponed his proposal to rescind average class size limits in Tennessee schools.

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann introduced a bill that would freeze federal discretionary spending until 2021.

I was browsing the Scottie Mayfield campaign’s Facebook page and came across a logo whose color scheme elicited a two-word response: “Holy cow.” Take a wild guess as to the two colors.

Metro Nashville Council member Brady Banks was among those eyeing an open 20th District Senate seat. Then he went and got arrested as part of a prostitution sting.

Sen. Andy Berke held a town hall on Thursday in Chattanooga, and kept everyone wondering, still, about his electoral plans. The redrawn Senate district he serves has already attracted a GOP challenger in Rep. Vince Dean. Berke is “seriously considering” running for mayor of Chattanooga next year. Some were wondering if his would be the third announcement of a Democrat bowing out of the General Assembly this week, following Reps. Janis Sontany of Nashville and Bill Harmon of Dunlap.

The Chattanooga Tea Party announced that presidential candidate and former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum will headline their Liberty Forum on Saturday, February 25. A location has yet to be announced, as Santorum’s recent rise in statewide and national polls has many potentially interested in checking him out.

Another prominent national figure in town soon is civil rights legend and U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta. Lewis will speak at a Hamilton County Democratic Party fundraiser on Saturday, February 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Olivet Baptist Church, 740 E. Martin Luther King Boulevard, Chattanooga. Registration for the event begins at 5:30.

Early voting for the March 6 elections began on Wednesday, and continues through the 28th. Hamilton County readers, don’t forget that there are primary elections for three local offices. Likewise, there’s a county mayor primary election in Anderson County, and in other locales. The point is, don’t just go into the voting booth to pick your presidential preference without doing some homework about other races that will be on the same ballot—such as, if you’re a Republican, the convention delegates.

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