If you could care less about my opinion this isn't for you, but for those who have asked and who are curious. I will attempt to give my reasoning for supporting a particular candidate, but in some cases, it is more about their opponent. In those cases, I will refrain from personal assaults and focus on facts that can be substantiated.
Only races that are contested, or those with a serious challenger are receiving commentary. Note: If you want some good comic relief, you really should Google some of the less serious candidates. Some of them are a real hoot! Additionally, where the race is between a (R) and a (D) and there is no logical reason to vote other than (R), I will not comment.
All that being said, here we go. My recommendations are in green.
- Lamar Alexander - Lamar is a life-long politician. Its all he knows. Once viewed as a relatively conservative candidate, Lamar's voting record is anything but conservative. Over the last few years, Lamar has supported amnesty for illegals, voted to thwart efforts to defund Obamacare, voted twice against bans on earmarks, voted for the Fiscal Cliff tax hike and the 2008 Bank Bailout (TARP), and he supported Harry Reid's gun control bill by voting it out of committee. Its time Lamar Alexander's political career came to an end.
- Joe Carr - Joe Carr is a state representative from Middle Tennessee with a proven track record of conservative votes. Joe and his wife are adoptive parents. Joe is a constitutionalist who is pro-life, pro-traditional marriage, pro-2nd amendment, anti-amnesty for illegals, and anti-Common Core. Joe has gained the endorsements of most of the conservative-minded groups out there. He has become a nationally-recognized News personality debating national issues with liberals such as Al Sharpton and others. Nationally syndicated radio host, Laura Ingraham, has begun full scale campaigning for Joe Carr, creating the impression that this race is much tighter than the Alexander camp would like us to believe.
US House (District 2)
- Jimmy Duncan - It is hard to argue with Jimmy Duncan's voting record in his 26 years in the US House. He has fairly consistently voted right, but has never demonstrated the ability or desire to lead in Congress. Between Jimmy and his father, John Duncan, Sr., the 2nd Congressional District has become somewhat of a Kennedy dynasty with the seat being in the family for more than 50 years now. Perhaps the longevity has given rise to a sense of entitlement and privilege, which likely allowed Jimmy to secure special treatment for his son, John Duncan, III, who plead guilty in 2013 to "official misconduct" charges following his theft of money from the Knox County Trustee's Office. Elected office was never intended to be a full-time career yet Jimmy has spent 34 of the 41 years since his graduation from law school in elected or appointed office. Its time to sweep the House.
- Jason Zachary - I must admit, my support for Jason Zachary is somewhat personal. Jason is a friend - a trusted friend. Jason is a Christian. He is a family man. He is a leader. Most of all, Jason is NOT a politician, which should be a HUGE positive in Washington. Jason is a Reagan Conservative who believes in a foundation in God, family, the Constitution, limited government, economic freedom for businesses and individuals, and stewardship of the resources entrusted to him. Jason has spent the last 16 years as a business owner in our community, so he knows our community like his opponent never could (having spent most of his life in Washington).
TN Senate (District 7)
- Richard Briggs - Briggs, a heart and lung surgeon and military veteran, is currently a member of the Knox County Commission. While Briggs' campaign is pushing him as a conservative, his words and actions are anything but conservative. Briggs has refused to answer questions from pro-2nd amendment organizations, and, in a recent interview appeared to voice support for the key tenants of Common Core. Pressed to answer, "Do you support Common Core?" Briggs repeatedly refused to say no. In video shot at one of his campaign events, Briggs also appeared to contradict another of his stated values - opposition to Obamacare. At the event, Briggs called for the state to request that the Obama Administration grant Medicaid waivers to Tennessee, which would expand the role of Obamacare in Tennessee and result in millions of new expenses on Tennessee taxpayers.
- Stacy Campfield - Campfield has served as both a State Representative and State Senator. He is a proven conservative in every sense. Party republicans don't like him because he places principle above party. Democrats don't like him because he is an effective advocate for conservative ideology. Campfield has garnered an unfair amount of bad press. His opponent calls it grandstanding, but anyone who claims Campfield seeks the limelight has either never met him, or is lying. Campfield's ideology gathers attention because it is so unpopular with the political establishment - and that should tell us everything we need to know. Among, Senator Campfield's recent bills was a bill requiring that welfare recipients submit to drug testing, a bill that prohibited the teaching of homosexuality in public schools, and a bill that prohibited public colleges from admitting illegal immigrants. Campfield is pro-life, pro-traditional family, pro-second amendment, pro-fiscal responsibility, anti-Common Core, and Anti-amnesty for illegal aliens.
Tennessee House (District 13)
- Jason Emert - Jason's website emphasizes a wild variety of educational degrees and jobs that he has held over the last few years. His education and jobs have led him to live in IL, DC, FL, ME, LA, France and perhaps other locations too. He has been loosely involved in behind-the-scenes political circles for many years. Among those with whom he has worked is Lamar Alexander, who he says "remains a tremendous influence" in his life. Perhaps that tells us everything we needed to know about Jason.
- Eddie Smith - Eddie is a complete political novice. He serves as Director of Media/Special Events at Sevier Heights Baptist Church for many years. Eddie is a lifelong Knoxvillian who says he is running because we need more servant-minded leaders and fewer career politicians building political resumes and serving special interests.
Tennessee House (District 18)
- Martin Daniel - Mr. Daniel is a licensed attorney, though it appears most of his recent work experience has been as an entrepreneur in the outdoor advertising industry. While, Mr. Daniel appears conservative on several key issues, there are a couple of glaring problems. First, Martin appears to favor Common Core in our educational system. In a statement available on his website, he says, "textbooks need to be revised to implement it (Common Core) better." Second, there is profound silence on the issues of life and traditional marriage. In fact, one might conclude from some of his other stated positions that he supports choice and homosexual marriage.
- Steve Hall - Hall currently serves as the State Representative for DIstrict 18. Like Senator Campfield, Hall tends to garner a lot of negative press because neither side of the aisle particularly likes him. Hall is an independent mind that votes his convictions. From his position on the powerful House Finance Committee, Hall is known for proposing or supporting legislation that cuts government spending. He has also proposed, or voted in favor of, a number of bills designed to create job expansion in the district. Hall is solidly pro-life and pro-second amendment.
Board of Education (District 1)
- Gloria Deathridge - Gloria Deathridge, the incumbent, has supported Superintendent McIntye at every turn, refusing to hold him or those in his administration accountable for anything. She has repeatedly, by lack of action, deferred the authority of her role to the Superintendent's office. Deathridge also supported Planned Parenthood's sex ed agenda in the schools.
- Marshall Walker - Marshall Walker is a retired educator, having served as a School Social Worker for many years. One of his expressed reasons for running was to help the Board of Education regain its position of authority in Knox County - referring to the board's endless pandering to Superintendent McIntyre. Not much is known about Mr. Walker, but he can certainly do no worse than his opponent. That, is reason enough to vote to replace Gloria Deathridge.
Board of Education (District 6)
- Terry Hill - Terry Hill is a retired educator with great experience in our Knox County schools. She seems to have a good grasp of the issues surrounding our state education officials, as well as the local superintendent and school board. She is fiscally minded, in asking. "Are Knox County taxpayers ready to pay $1,000,000 to oust Superintendent McIntyre?" Hill also questions the collective failure of the school board to act within its authority to remedy some problems. Hill's daughter, Cindy Buttry, a past member of the Board, proved to be a consistent conservative vote, despite the backlash from her fellow board members. Buttry's was the only consistent voice that stood in opposition to Planned Parenthood's sex ed agenda in our schools. The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.
- Sandra Rowcliffe - Rowcliffe's website seemingly supports Gov. Haslam and State Education Commissioner Huffman's plans for Tennessee schools. Furthermore, she cites the school boards 8-1 vote to retain Superintendent McIntyre as a positive endorsement of the job he has done. All that said, Rowcliffe is a proponent of equitable distribution of education funding - pointing out that select schools receive a disproportionate share of the school system's budget. And, believe it or not, West Knoxville schools are at the bottom of the funding list. At the end of the day, I just can't get past Rowcliffe's tacit endorsement of the state and local education officials.
Farragut Alderman (Ward 1)
- Bob Markli - Markli is a local home builder and businessman. He won election to the Board of Alderman in 2009 and has consistently proven to be a conservative vote. Prior to his professional career, Markli served as a foreign missionary for the Mormon church.
- John Underwood - Underwood has served on the Town of Farragut's Personnel Committee for the last 7-8 years, and as chairman for most of that time. There is no indication of his positions on any items of interest to Farragut residents.
Farragut Alderman (Ward 2)
- Ron Pinchok - Currently serves as Director of the Town of Farragut's Economic Development Committee.
- Ron Williams - Employed locally for many years. A resident of Farragut for the last decade.
Judicial Retention or Replacement (all)
- Retain (applies for all these votes)
- Replace (applies for all these votes)