I went to the Knox County Republican convention last Saturday to vote for Harry Brooks for GOP county chair. Brooks lost to an upstart, 28-year-old Daniel A. Herrera. One old-timer said it was the difference between listening to a college professor and an evangelical preacher.
Brooks stressed his experience (running successful campaigns for the school board and the state legislature), his desire to bring people together and his ability to raise funds for the GOP. Herrera asked, “Are you tired of the lying liberal media? Tired of the socialist-controlled (Knoxville) city council? As the proud owner of an AR-15 … I’ll be aggressive and ruthless” in promoting Republican values. “And I commit to put $125,000 in our bank account.”
The secret-ballot votes were counted. Herrera got 242 to Brooks’ 141.
Folks close to the process said Brooks and Herrera met twice in the week preceding the convention. Party elders urged Herrera to work alongside Brooks – to wait his turn. Daniel said he’d be happy to work with Harry – if he lost. He expected to win and he won.
Somebody asked if I was upset that Herrera won. Nope. How could I be mad at Daniel? Fifty years ago, I was Daniel. We must not fear the idealism and arrogance of youth.
Thomas Jefferson was 33 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, adopted July 4, 1776. He was 44 when he wrote these words: The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.
Meanwhile, the local Democrats are ecstatic that Herrera won.
Knox Democratic Party chair Matt Shears, 27, issued a press statement saying the local GOP decided to “double-down on Trumpism, right-wing rhetoric and losing policies.” His full statement: KCDP Statement New GOP Knox Chair
Herrera quickly got on Facebook to say, “While they focus on my election, we’ll focus on winning elections.” #TakeBackKnoxville
This should be fun.
More from the GOP: Elaine Davis was elected vice chair at Saturday’s convention. Other officers are Rob Gray, secretary; Janis Crye, treasurer; and Steve Weiner, vice treasurer. Word is the executive committee will name Christy Gentry as vice secretary.
East Towne Mall: Paperwork was signed Monday, we hear, and a big announcement is expected this week. Developers are putting together four privately-owned parcels to accommodate a giant warehouse, perhaps Amazon, perhaps Wayfair. Expect some green space and maybe a walking trail.
Election Commission: As we reported on March 2, legislators have nominated three Republicans to serve on the five-member Knox County Election Commission. Bob Bowman and Hannah Hopper are holdovers; former state Rep. Eddie Smith is new. Now we learn from the Compass that Democratic legislators have selected Adronicus Thomas and Julie Gautreau, both new. At least the Republicans are easier to pronounce.
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.