Tag Archives: Jean Howard-Hill

Going through withdrawals

I’ve been filling out the voter guide pages, and have noticed that some names that were expected to show up on the list of qualified candidates for August ended up not being there. Here are a few of them:

Fall of the Marceauxviet Union

The more famous Basil Marceaux’s scion had pulled a petition in the newly combined 28th House District, after having run against Rep. JoAnne Favors in what was the 29th a couple of cycles ago. However, his name was not in the final list. Rest assured: Basil the Elder is in the race, and will face incumbent Rep. Richard Floyd in the Republican primary in District 27.

Over the hills and far away

Rep. Gary Moore decided rather at the last minute not to seek re-election to the 50th House District seat. Nashville-Davidson Metro Councilmember Bo Mitchell is in as a Democratic Party pinch hitter. Three Republicans will vie for their party’s nomination.

Breeding grounds

The only Democratic Party candidate to file for the new 89th House District has had her residency questioned, and some view this with suspicion.

What is love?

Rep. G.A. Hardaway, whose 92nd District was moved to Marshall County (et al.), actually qualified as a primary challenger to Rep. Mike Kernell in the 93rd. But he had pulled petitions for several districts, so we were kind of hoping he’d show up more than once in the list. Which district is Roxbury Street in, anyway?

The indomitable Lady J

Jean Howard-Hill not only failed to return her qualifying petition for the U.S. House 3rd District seat, she sent a defiant press release stating her intent to add “Independent” and “write-in” (along with “feisty”) to the list of adjectives with which she distinguishes her Republican-ness.

Candidates who qualified have until this Thursday to change their minds. If any do, or if any other news pops up, this site will be updated.

Congressional race roundup, District Three

With redistricting all but finished (caveat: lawsuits could be filed) and the official start to the August primary election season just over a week away, it’s time to check-in on recent happenings around the state. Some congressional districts have been rather dormant, like those in the northeastern corner of the state, while others are heading for a tempestuous election year.

District 3

The 3rd District race got a shake-up this week when Scottie Mayfield, president of the eponymous Athens, Tenn. dairy company, announced that he is seriously considering (and, if you ask me, with an emphasis on “seriously”) jumping into the race as a Republican. I take an initial look at the potential impacts in my latest Nooga.com column.

Meanwhile, incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann showed the first signs of being a candidate for re-election this week by naming Tom Decosimo as campaign treasurer. (Fleischmann’s typical response to inquiries about the race to date, save a professed enjoyment of ice cream sandwiches, has been that he is focused on doing his job serving the people of the district.)

Weston Wamp has generally been quiet of late in the local news media, ever since he gave the Pulse interview. But he was the subject of a feature in venerable Beltway publication The Hill, so there’s that.

Democrats in Hamilton County (the largest in the district) got to meet the two candidates who are vying for the chance to take on the Republican nominee in November. Dr. Mary Headrick and Bill Taylor both focused on the idea that Congress is “broken” and needs to be restocked with individuals who would truly represent their districts.

L-R: Democratic candidates Rick Wilson, Mitzi Yates, Bill Taylor, Mary Headrick. Taylor and Headrick are running for Congress. Contributed photo.

With all this attention on Fleischmann, Wamp, and Mayfield, the other GOP candidates—Ron Bhalla and Jean Howard-Hill—are struggling to maintain their profiles.

And finally, a few fourth quarter fundraising numbers are out ahead of the reporting deadline. Here are the two leading GOP candidates’ cash-on-hand totals:

  1. Fleischmann: $617,323
  2. Wamp: $285,141

Though there is an obvious gap between the frontrunner and the challenger, the two men raised roughly equal amounts during the quarter. Much more information is available on these two campaign finance releases in Chris Carroll’s Times Free Press article.

The federal filing deadline for Year-End 2011 is January 31.

As a teaser for the 4th and 8th District roundups (on their way): the Third is shaping up to be the most interesting congressional race in the state by far. In 2010 we had competition with other open seats that changed party hands, but things will be somewhat quieter in those districts this time around. There could be surprises, though. Stay tuned.

Political Christmas greetings

From U.S. Rep. Diane Black:

Wishing You a Merry Christmas…
Even if I’m not supposed to

It seems like every year during the holidays, we get reminded of how political correctness has run amok in this country.  Recently we had our own example of this in the House of Representatives, when the House Franking Commission sent out a memo to offices regarding holiday greetings. Continue reading

Bhalla draws a plan for citizen involvement

Ron Bhalla, the newest candidate to seek the GOP nomination in Tennessee’s Third Congressional District, wants to change how business is done in the U.S. House of Representatives. In an interview on Monday, he said that he would communicate every bill to his constituents, and based on a majority opinion of their responses, would cast his vote as a mere vessel to communicate the district’s will. “I’m going empty-handed,” he said quietly.

Bhalla shuffled quickly through photocopied sketches of how he perceives the current process vs. how he says he will operate, if elected. Stick figures and flowchart shapes depict what Bhalla says is a “disconnect” between an elected representative’s constituents and the votes cast by said representative, while there is a clear connection between the elected official and a combination of lobbyists, the national party, and other powerful interests. On the next page, there is a direct line connecting the constituents to their representative.

When asked how he would avoid becoming yet another well-meaning politician who packs up and heads to the Capitol with the best intentions, only to be sucked into the prevailing political machine, Bhalla smiles. He points to a printed pledge he says that, as signed, will protect against such influence. He also says that since special interests will have no response from him, they will quickly decide he is not worth their efforts.

Instead, the plan is to ask the district’s voters to weigh in on each bill that is up for deliberation. (Various communication solutions are being considered for executing this.) Whatever fifty percent plus one decide, says Bhalla, is how he will vote. His campaign assistant, Ken Orr, quickly added that the only override would be when a bill was clearly unconstitutional.

Votes on pending legislation aren’t the only thing on which Bhalla says he will seek direct input from constituents. He will ask citizens to set his salary, too, “from zero to the full extent” set by Congress, depending on the voters’ assessment of his performance.

Bhalla, who originally hails from India, faces two formidable opponents in Congressman Chuck Fleischmann and the incumbent’s immediate predecessor’s scion, Weston Wamp, both of whom have demonstrated an ability to raise lots of campaign cash. Dr. Jean “Lady J” Howard-Hill is also running for the nomination. Bhalla says he is not aiming to compete for the large donors, adding that he does not want to be a “puppet.”

Chattanooga attorney J.B. Bennett released a statement saying that he is not running. Two other potential candidates still apparently deciding are Savas Kyriakidis and Tres Wittum.

Robin Smith not running

Robin Smith says she will not run for the 3rd District Congressional seat but will focus on her consulting business. More to come.

UPDATE 2: Weston Wamp, the young son of former U.S. Rep. Zach Wamp (who was in office until early this calendar year), has entered the race to challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, and has attracted a fair showing of support.

Dr. Jean Howard-Hill rounds out the slate, as she is repeating her 2010 run for the GOP nomination.

Chattanooga attorney J.B. Bennett, Maj. Savas Kyriakidis (who ran as an independent in 2010), and former Tennessee College Republicans chair Tres Wittum are reportedly considering a run in this primary as well.

To date, no Democrats, independents, or third party candidates have declared in this race.

Candidates have until April to qualify for the August 2012 primary. The general election will be held on November 6, 2012.

UPDATE 1: The press release from Smith:

Chattanooga, TN- Robin Smith, 2010 Republican candidate for the 3rd Congressional District in an 11-candidate primary field, announced today her plans do not include pursuing the GOP nomination in next year’s primary race in August. “I will not run for the 3rd District Congressional seat in 2012,” Smith told WGOW’s Morning Press host team. “While every conversation I have had with supporters, advisors, and donors has been incredibly encouraging to run again, opportunities in the private sector and in working in the area of public policy are available that may never materialize again,” Smith continued.
The former Tennessee Republican Party Chairman that turned Tennessee “a deeper shade of red” in the unprecedented elections of 2008 ran in the open-seat vacated by former Congressman Zach Wamp in his run for Tennessee’s Governor. Smith raised approximately $723,000 from individual donors and conservative organizations losing by fewer than 1500 votes in the expansive district including parts of eleven counties, touching four separate states. “The new district that will result from the 2012 redistricting process will most likely be a very favorable district for a challenger to run against a newly-elected incumbent. However, the private sector opportunities could not wait until January’s unveiling of the new district lines,” Smith noted.
Responding to inquiries if this was an indication of her exit from politics, Mrs. Smith, quipped, “Ironically, a future run against candidates with a record versus the vagueness of blank slates may prove much easier. I’ve never been known to run for cover.”
With over twenty-one years of grassroots politics as her platform, Robin Smith highlighted her continued commitment to servant leadership: “Since toting a 6-month-old daughter on my hip as I volunteered in local politics, there has been one driving factor that remains my driving force…serve others with integrity and produce results that provide a lasting impact. Institutions are only as strong and honorable as those who serve.” Offering a bit of advice draped in humor, Smith concluded, “My kids know that I’ve never asked of anyone that which I wasn’t first willing to do. In other words, servant leadership leaves a legacy; climbing the ladder leaves tread marks!”