Or, the A-B-C’s of primary voting
Of course you and I know who Rep. Craig Fitzhugh is, the banker from Ripley whose tenure in the House of Representatives spans a couple of decades, and who currently serves as House Minority Leader.
Fitzhugh formally announced his bid for Governor of Tennessee over the weekend, meaning that he will now want to make sure that he’s doing everything he can for the next year to be name-recognized by a whole lot of Democrats.
Why is everybody always picking on Democrats with this bit of unsolicited advice, and not dishing it out equally to Republicans?
Well, surely you remember the Mark Clayton and Charlie Brown episodes. (Me, not so much, on the latter; embarrassingly, I had to use a web search engine to recall Brown‘s eminently memorable name.)
For a variety of reasons, the GOP has had a much easier time of late making sure that its top-tier candidates are top-of-mind among its primary voters. Democratic Party voters have instead gone with top-of-the-list, alphabetically.
I mean, Mark “I’ll Have Another” Albertini could have run as a Democrat and gotten picked. (Not actually true; in 2006, the incumbent was Gov. Phil Bredesen, whose name, come to think of it, starts with an early letter, but who nevertheless kept all 95 counties in the Dem column.)
So even though Dean has raised a considerable amount, and Fitzhugh likely will be no slouch either, there is precedent for cautious diligence to make sure someone with a last name starting anywhere between A-C doesn’t come along and upset the order.
Republicans who perennially worry about Democrats crossing over and voting in their primary should be wary too: what if, unwavering from their penchant for voting the phone book, Democrats were to accidentally boost Beavers over Black and Boyd? It could happen.