Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Late Night Yields Few Results

The VOLConWife and I attended the Knox County GOP function at the Crowne Plaza last night, which was supposed to center around the election results for that day. Unfortunately, something important was missing - the election results.

We all knew that there would be some delays with the mountain of paper ballots that needed to be counted, but for the voting machines not to work? Priceless, folks.

We did have a good time last night, though. Knox GOP Chair Brian Hornback made us feel right at home, introducing Angela to everyone in the room as the new State Executive Committeewoman (of course, we are not counting our chickens before they hatch and will run a small campaign leading up to the August elections). We were also blessed with the opportunity to speak at length with David Oatney about Tennessee and federal conservatism in the Republican Party. David certainly carries the conservative banner well, and we enjoyed our conversation greatly.

Gubernatorial candidate Mark Albertini was also present, and I was able to speak with him about the Hawkins County Lincoln Day Dinner, where I felt he should have been able to speak (as Jim Bryson was afforded that opportunity) before the straw poll commenced. Albertini was also very disappointed in how that turned out, as he was with Senator Bryson's abstention in the committee vote this week on Bredesen's CoverTennessee health care program. I agree with Albertini on both counts. I'm sure that Bryson had a reason for his lack of a vote, but it doesn't ring of conservative leadership.

My entertainment for the night came from Van Hilleary, who was also present. It wasn't that Van did anything entertaining, but he was there so I kept an eye on how he was accepted by the crowd. Honestly, few people came to the former congressman, and he stood at the back of the room and had several conversations with Mark Albertini throughout the evening. I'm pretty sure that Van wanted to address the crowd (I would have if I had been in Van's position), but that didn't happen.

Overall, it was a good night. Early election returns show that all of the judicial candidates I supported - including Bill Swann and Andy Jackson - should win election, although Jackson's race could tighten depending on the paper ballots. Steve Hall, who most conservatives in Knoxville supported but seemed to have no Election Day strategy based on reports of several pollworkers at one West Knoxville precinct but my own observations of no Hall supporters at several South Knoxville precincts, looks to have been soundly defeated by the tax-hiking Mike Ragsdale for Knox County Mayor. Most of the candidates I endorsed in races for the Knox County Commission appear to have won, including Tony Norman, who attended the party last night after apparently defeating Wanda Moody in the 3rd District, although David Kiger appears to be in trouble in his race against Paul Pinkston in South Knoxville.

WBIR is reporting that vote counting will once again commence at 1:00 P.M. today. Not to be overly critical, but the Knox County Election Commission can't receive high marks for this election. Computer glitches, mass confusion, and a lack of machine or paper ballot results late into the night and then into the morning is disappointing. Waiting to return until the afternoon to begin counting is even more disappointing and creates the question of why younger counters aren't being used who have greater endurance. It isn't like these problems snuck up on anyone.

All in all, this has been a tough time for Knox County. All votes need to be counted, winners declared, and this election put behind us.

Thank you for making it a wonderful evening-I too enjoyed our conversation a great deal.

As for Hilleary-well, I told of my experience with him last night in my entry today. I find him more inspiring than Corker, but less inspiring than a Brahma rooster, and Ford would crush him.

Perhaps we can get together soon as we both have liberty to do so, and talk some more. Nicole sends her best, and give our best to Angela, won't you?
Dave -

Yes, we had a wonderful time last night. Please give your best to Nicole and I pray that the operation today is successful.


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