Some local Republicans may be plotting a takedown of wrestling great Kane (aka Glenn Jacobs) in his effort to become Knox County’s next mayor. How best to beat him? Don’t let him on the Republican primary ballot.
What!?! Bet you thought getting on the ballot just took 25 valid signatures on a timely-filed petition.
But a meeting set for Monday, Oct. 2, at the Hampton Inn, 5411 Pratt Road in Norwood, will disabuse you of that notion. And Cliff Rodgers, elections administrator, says it’s perfectly legal for the parties to make rules for their nominees. Here are excerpts from the invite:
State GOP party chair Scott Golden will host the meeting and review changes recently adopted by the Republican State Executive Committee. The meeting will start at 6 p.m. and “will last as long as it takes.” Invited are “all candidates who are wanting to be on the Republican Ballot during the Primary on May 5, 2018.”
The invitation continues: “All clarifications will be final and (Scott) Golden will work to make this as clear as possible.”
On Aug. 26, the state Republican Party changed its bylaws to define a “bona fide Republican” as one who meets conditions A and B or A and C:
- Any individual who is actively involved in the Tennessee or county Republican Party or any recognized auxiliary organization of either; and resides and is registered to vote in said county; and either
- Any individual who has voted in at least three of the four most recent statewide Republican primary elections; or
- Any individual who is vouched for in writing to the satisfaction of the state chair. … who shall have final authority to make the determination.”
Announced candidates who may be targeted by these bylaws are Jacobs, who has said he’s a libertarian; Don Ridings, who may have missed some elections while working out of town; Charlie Susano, whose dad and wife are Democrats; and Larsen Jay, for no apparent reason.
Knox County GOP chair Buddy Burkhardt, who himself may be a candidate for county mayor, said Sunday the GOP is simply trying to “verify and solidify” candidates for the benefit of Republican Primary voters.
“It’s like buying Campbell Soup,” said Burkhardt. “You see that label and you know what you’re getting.”
He continued, “We are not keeping anyone off the ballot or preventing them from running. They can run as an independent or a Democrat or whatever.” Burkhardt said he’s not yet talked with Cliff Rodgers, but plans to do so soon. He expects that it will be the county party’s role to certify candidates for the primary ballot with candidates able to appeal to the state party chair.
Scott Golden was elected 33-26 over Brent Leatherwood in December 2016. Leatherwood, as executive director for the state GOP, had urged Tennesseans to vote their conscience in the presidential race, a statement that echoed Gov. Bill Haslam’s position. Golden was more closely aligned with Donald Trump.
Sunday talk shows
Mae Beavers, Republican candidate for governor, rated Gov. Bill Haslam a “C” on Inside Tennessee. She continues to stand with Donald Trump, saying he’s doing what he promised the people during the campaign.
Lauren Rider and Harry Tindell, candidates for Knoxville City Council from District 4, talked about the tie for second place, between Tindell and Amelia Parker, that led to Tindell’s selection by City Council. “Nobody predicts a tie,” said Tindell. “It was unfortunate for everyone involved,” said Rider. Parker, in a clip shown on Tennessee This Week, said she doesn’t know what criteria City Council used in selecting Tindell. “I had a lot of support in the room, and we’re going to run a write-in.”
George Korda, who last week said he wouldn’t want to be Harry Tindell if the council voted rather than flip a coin, offered an interesting read on the unanimous vote for Tindell. “Word got around on how Dan Brown was going to vote … and the others said, ‘We’ve got cover.’”
Can Congress pass a bill on DACA (Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals)? Terry Adams: “Yes, if Trump gets behind and pushes, it can pass.” Craig Griffith: “No, they can’t get a bill in six months.”
Kim Isenberg has been appointed by Mayor Tim Burchett to the county Historic Zoning Board. She is a broker with Realty Executives Associates and volunteers with the Rotary Club of Knoxville and the American Cancer Society.
Rob Barger, president and CEO of First Century Bank, is among 42 Tennesseans selected for the 2017-18 Leadership Tennessee Class, administered by Lipscomb University’s college of Leadership & Public Service. Barger is based at the bank’s corporate offices in Tazewell.
Others from Knoxville are: Dr. Keith D. Gray, associate professor and chief of surgical oncology, UT Medical Center; Bill Lyons, deputy to the mayor and chief policy officer, city of Knoxville; Phyllis Young Nichols, president and CEO, Knoxville Area Urban League; David Rausch, chief of police, Knoxville Police Department; and Melanie Wilson, dean of UT College of Law.