You’ve seen Susan Richardson Williams on WBIR-TV. She’s the Republican usually paired with Democrat Don Bosch. Rarely is she as candid as she was when speaking to the Halls Republican Club on Monday.
Who will succeed Jimmy Duncan in Congress? Williams said Tim Burchett has been a very good mayor. Since half of the voters live in Knox County, she gives Burchett the edge. She predicted Renee Hoyos to win the Democratic primary over Josh Williams.
“Ashley Nickloes is a rising star,” she said. The combat aviator got a late start in the Congressional primary. “The GOP needs to recruit more women at the local level. … look to the future.”
Williams would not call the GOP race for governor, but she asked the audience who would win. The majority said Bill Lee (nine votes) with Diane Black (6), Randy Boyd and Beth Harwell trailing. “The momentum absolutely is with Bill Lee,” she said. “He’s come out as the good guy” as Boyd and Black have gone negative. “We don’t like negative ads, but they work.” She said House Speaker Harwell never gained momentum and likely will poll 10 percent or less.
“This one could be an all-nighter.”
Williams said Democrat Karl Dean is a liberal running as a moderate, while Craig Fitzhugh is a moderate trying to run as a liberal. “Dean will win the primary.”
To replace U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, the primaries have clear front-runners: Phil Bredesen (D) and Marsha Blackburn (R). Williams said the race could be controlled by timing. Blackburn is closely identified with President Trump. “By November, Trump could be winning the Nobel Peace Prize or indicted.”
She expects state Rep. Eddie Smith (R) to face a tough challenge from former Rep. Gloria Johnson (D). She urged Republicans to work hard for Blackburn and Smith. “There will be no end to the (outside campaign) money coming to this state. I hope people understand the consequences.”
Why I love this job
We report news, but sometimes we help make it. An example is this Saturday (7/21) in Halls as Knox TN Today joins our advertisers in sponsoring the movie “Wonder” in Clayton Park at dusk. Come early for a good seat and visit with vendors who are offering free food – pizza slices from Marco’s, hot dogs from Food City, popcorn from Tindell’s, water from Pioneer Heating & Air, and more. Knox County Parks & Rec is a co-sponsor.
Gossip and lies
The Tennessean reports that Diane Black voted in Democratic primaries in 1996. She said her parents told her to vote Democratic, but “I outgrew that when I grew up.” The Tennessean noted Black was 45 in 1996.
Randy Boyd has endorsed his wife, Jenny, as “a fantastic First Lady of Tennessee.” He calls her the love of his life, an entrepreneur, accomplished musician, volunteer and philanthropist.
Stacey Campfield, trying for a comeback after losing to state Sen. Richard Briggs in 2012, assembles an assault rifle in his TV ad and concludes by saying his idea of gun control is “using both hands.”