Election Day 2016 Links with Commentary

It’s tempting to start with the election for president, but that’s a rabbit hole to be saved for later in the post—or maybe for its own post.

So here are some musings about local, state, and federal elections.

Ballot initiatives


Citizens of Soddy-Daisy and several unincorporated towns in Hamilton County voted overwhelmingly to allow wine to be sold in grocery stores in their respective areas. They have to play catch-up to everywhere else wine in retail shops has been flowing since July. There were similar initiatives throughout the state.

City of Chattanooga

Ordinance No. 13007
A move to restrict city employee residence to the state of Tennessee (grandfathering in out-of-staters from 1990 on) was approved by Chattanooga voters. But here’s the thing: Greater Chattanooga is in a multiple-border situation, and the border isn’t even drawn where it was supposed to have been, and people make housing choices based on a lot of factors. I meant to vote against this, but I have an odd feeling that I may have cast a vote for it, based on its introduction and wording on the ballot. I might have double-over-thought it, which is a recurring fear when it comes to charter amendments on the ballot. “No meaning Yes,” and so forth.

Ordinance No. 13039
This one was to appoint a management analyst to assist the City Council with contract and budget analysis. I voted against (I’m sure), because I wasn’t convinced that there aren’t already the talents in place to do this. I could be wrong. It was approved.

Hamilton County Commission

District 3

There was a special election to fill the seat vacated by Marty Haynes, who became Assessor of Property earlier this year. Dr. Greg Martin won more votes than Joe Smith in a race that saw typical GOP allies split between these two. Since Martin is a current Board of Education member, that will mean even more change on a school board already dealing with newness as they maneuver through the superintendent selection process.

Tennessee House of Representatives

Here at home, there was really no action as most House candidates were unopposed, and all incumbents are returning to Nashville. So let’s look around the state for a few notable races.

District 96

Incumbent Rep. Steve McManus lost to Dwayne Thompson in the Democratic Party’s only seat pick-up.

District 43

Republican Paul Sherrell defeated incumbent Rep. Kevin Dunlap, offsetting the above Democratic Party gain.

District 69

And in a loss that some may argue represents the extinction of rural conservative Democrats in this state, Republican Michael Curcio picked off the seat he had tried for last time, bringing the Democratic Party’s total statewide to a loss of one House seat.

Tennessee Senate

District 10

Democratic challenger Khristy Wilkinson, who surprised many in August with her primary win over power pick Nick Wilkinson, actually won Hamilton County over GOP incumbent Sen. Todd Gardenhire. But as everyone knows, including Andraé McGary, Bradley County voters hold the key to this seat following the major redrawing of its lines in 2011. Gardenhire was re-elected by a 12-point margin.

District 20

U.S. House of Representatives

8th Congressional District

The only new member of our congressional delegation, David Kustoff, won this open seat by a wide margin. Perennial candidate and eugenics advocate James Hart garnered 4,048 votes, according to the unofficial total.

3rd Congresssional District

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann easily held off challenger Melody Shekari. But the datum I want to point out is that independent candidate Rick Tyler, who made the news more than once with his “Make America White Again” billboards, collected the votes of some five thousand ninety-one people. Granted, that’s only about two percent of the district’s votes. But in light of everything I haven’t included in this roundup, it’s nonetheless disturbing enough.

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