Category Archives: Tennessee State Elections

Vote, Tennessee!

Don’t forget or abandon your privileged duty today.

A few resources for finding out where to vote and who’s running:

  • – Great new site from the Tennessee Secretary of State. Use the web app or download a mobile app for your preferred OS
  • election guide – Just enter your address and find links to information about the candidates. Best results are for Chattanooga and Hamilton County voters.
  •’s Politics section has links to several area voter guides

Inform yourself and vote. In that order. Thanks!

Good, let’s debate

The 25th Senate District seat has an atypically high number of higher-profile contenders for its GOP primary election. Rep. Joshua G. Evans, former Sen. Kerry Roberts, Sen. Jim Summerville, and Wayne White want to be the nominee. These candidates will participate in a debate Thursday evening at 5937 Smiley Hollow Rd in Goodlettsville at 5:30 p.m.

Rep. Evans has four Republicans and a lone Democrat vying to replace him in the House (District 66). The GOP candidates are Brock Brewer, Matt Burnett, Sabi (Doc) Kumar, and Chris Orndorff. They also will debate at tonight’s event.

Michael Lotfi, Tennessee Tenth Amendment Center Executive Director, and Sen. Mae Beavers will moderate the debates.

(Aside: I don’t know if I’ve seen a better description for a gaggle of politicians on the stump than “Smiley Hollow.” Heh.)

Supreme vote of confidence, or a game of chance(ry)

One of the most important local elections almost no one ever talks about is the Chancellor post. As an attorney friend (oxymoron? heh!) recently put it, the person who serves as chancellor becomes extremely important to you the instant your family has to determine conservatorship for an ailing loved one.

There are many other types of cases that go to Chancery Court as well, of course. From the Hamilton County Courts website:

The Chancery Court handles cases involving domestic relations, worker’s compensation, estates, trusts, contracts, review of administrative action of governmental agencies and boards, collection of delinquent taxes, guardianships, and conservatorships, dissolution of partnerships and corporations, enforcement of liens, boundary lines, breach of contract, fraud, election contests, and other matters of a civil nature.

Almost none of that sounds fun. Or, if you’re a real contract law nerd, all of it sounds fun.

Chancellor Jeff Atherton is running unopposed for re-election. But in the other division, an open seat is being contested by attorneys Pam Fleenor and Joe Manuel.

Fleenor recently nabbed an endorsement by former Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Mickey Barker, which further cements the theory that she enjoys a lot of support in the established legal community.

Manuel, however, is a former chair of the (very active) Pachyderm Club, and thus likely will hope to count on a heavy Republican activist turnout to boost his chances.

This is one race I’ll be watching closely from here on in. I trust you will too.

Gawrys explains

If you, like me, were wondering why activist Steve Gawrys chose to challenge incumbent Rep. Charles Sargent in the GOP primary for the 61st House District, you could have listened to the Ralph Bristol show on 99.7 WTN Nashville. But in case you missed that, here’s a press release from the Gawrys campaign that may offer some insight into the decision.

BRENTWOOD, TN – Last Friday, Steve Gawrys, Candidate for the 61st District House Seat appeared on the Ralph Bristol Show on 99.7 WTN Nashville. Bristol gave his listeners an opportunity to get to know the Williamson County entrepreneur, a candidate in the August 7, 2014 Republican Primary against nine-term incumbent Charles Sargent.

“Ralph gave me an opportunity to introduce myself to his listeners,” said Gawrys. “He told me prior to the interview that Williamson County is one of his largest listener bases.” Bristol first asked Gawrys about his background. “I have lived in North Williamson for twenty years with my wife Kim and our four children. I employ hundreds of people in my district and I understand the pressure that big government places upon job creators.”

When asked what had attracted him to the policy arena, Gawrys related his frustration with government and decided to volunteer his time at the Tenth Amendment Center, an organization dedicated to pushing back against federal overreach. He was able to work with legislators on 2nd Amendment bills and legislation against Medicaid expansion. He has since entered law school in order to better advocate for conservative legislation.

Bristol offered that Gawrys’ opponent, Rep. Charles Sargent, was a very influential member of the Tennessee House. He asked Steve why he was in the Republican primary. Gawrys said, “Charles Sargent sponsored the bill to establish the ObamaCare State Exchanges in Tennessee (HB2839).” Gawrys related the damage this legislation is doing to his and hundreds of other businesses in District 61 and how Republicans should not be sponsoring or supporting Obamacare.

When asked about the issues currently being debated on Capitol Hill, Gawrys indicated his opposition to the Death Tax and Hall Income Tax. He also attacked Common Core as a “big-government, top-down” education program. When asked about the debate over “wine in grocery stores”, Gawrys was clear that he believed in free markets but wanted to make sure that stores relegated to selling wine and liquor could also compete in the marketplace by selling other items.

CLICK HERE for more information about the candidates and to see a map of the district.

It’s official; we have a governor’s race

If a tree gets re-elected in a forest with no one running against it, does it make so much as a ripple on the public’s sonar?

Well never fear, dear Tennesseans; now hear this. Gov. Bill Haslam may have dodged an underdog bid by Sara Kyle, but he has a challenger in Mark “Coonrippy” Brown, a Gallatin resident whose pet raccoon has been confiscated by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA); and who, by way of this offense, says he ought to be the next governor of Tennessee.

I couldn’t have summarized a reaction to this story any better than Betsy Phillips did, so here’s a pithy morsel to show you why:

What good is the right to petition your government for the redress of grievances if the government just doesn’t bother to respond? If you want a job where you can just ignore the dude who showers with his raccoon, then don’t get a government job. Otherwise, yeah, if a dude writes to request a permit, he should at least get an answer, even if that answer is “No.” If he can get 60,000 signatures, then it’s not unreasonable for someone in the Governor’s office to open the damn petition.

And here’s the brand-new voter guide page. Updates will be made as additional candidates (if any) become known.

Full disclosure: as a teenager, I and my family had a pet raccoon for a number of months. We eventually gave her to a wildlife rescue agency who could properly care for an adult, wild-born, orphaned raccoon. But she was precious as a baby, and my momma has pictures of her playing with an orange tabby kitten to prove it.