If there’s such a thing as too much publicity, Republican state Rep. Martin Daniel might be the poster child for the proposition.
Meanwhile, his Democratic opponent, Brandi Price – who was unopposed in the primary and will go up against Daniel for the District 18 House seat in the November general election – has been feeling ignored.
State Rep. Martin Daniel surprised most observers with his strong win for renomination in the GOP primary last week. He more than doubled his victory margin from two years ago. Despite missteps over the past four months which generated countless stories, he prevailed. Why?
First, his major opponent, former state Rep. Steve Hall, whom he had ousted in 2014, was back again, and few people wanted him back. Hall had little electoral appeal.
State Rep. Bill Dunn says the so-called “kooky” bills introduced in virtually every legislative session grab media attention from more serious matters.
Seeking election to his 12th two-year term, Dunn works in a swirl of insanity called the Tennessee General Assembly. Earlier this month, the state attorney general reported that 22 women had claimed sexual harassment by Republican Rep. Jeremy Durham. Just last week, Rep. Martin Daniel accosted former Rep. Steve Hall in front of four witnesses at a local radio station.
Despite never being a favorite of the Republican establishment, Steve Hall served two terms on City Council and two terms in the state House and was putting up other people’s signs for years before he ever ran for office. Closely associated with former state Sen. Stacey Campfield, Hall has always been an outsider, perhaps best illustrated by his 2006 run against incumbent Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale. He didn’t win, but he gave Ragsdale a brisk and unexpected challenge.
The Campfield relationship plus some missteps during Hall’s second House term – like landing on the wrong side of a controversy over changing Middlebrook Pike’s scenic highway designation at the behest of a new Tennova hospital facility and seeming to entertain conversation about selling Lakeshore Park – were a gift to his challenger, Martin Daniel, who ended up taking the seat in 2014.
State Rep. Roger Kane, longtime champion of the Lady Vols, says that “restoring the name of the Lady Vols to women’s sports at UT would be a wonderful way to honor the memory of Pat Summitt,” who passed away last week.
Kane, along with many others, believes that Athletic Director Dave Hart would never have touched the Lady Vols name had Pat Summitt been able to articulate her views against it prior to the onset of her illness.
The hottest contested legislative contest in 42 days is for the West Knoxville district where incumbent state Rep. Martin Daniel faces three opponents including former state Rep. Steve Hall whom he defeated two years ago in the GOP primary. The winner probably wins with a plurality (not a majority) of the total vote which is likely to be less than 5,500. In other words, 2,000 votes may win it for someone.
The youngest candidate is James Corcoran, 36, an attorney who lives at 5675 Eagle Crest Drive in northwest Knox County. He is married and the father of twins, James IV and Elsa, 20 months old. He and his family are members of St. George Greek Orthodox Church. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in English as well as the UT College of Law.
A forum for Republican candidates for Tennessee’s 18th-district House seat came across a little like the story of Goldilocks − conservative, more conservative, most conservative and an outsider.
The candidates − incumbent Martin Daniel, his predecessor Steve Hall, former Stacey Campfield aide Bryan Dodson and attorney James Corcoran − spoke at last week’s West Knox Republican Club meeting. The 18th district is roughly constrained by Pleasant Ridge Road, Northshore Drive, Gleason Drive and Lovell Road.
If anyone thought the New Year would bring a kinder and more transparent TVA, they were quickly disabused of that notion when TVA rejected the freedom of information request regarding the amount of tax-paid incentives given to a Clinton industry to expand. In fact, TVA even suggests the News Sentinel should seek judicial review.
Hopefully, the News Sentinel accepts the TVA challenge and takes them to federal court. TVA’s most recent top legal counsel was paid $2 million a year. They have minimum regard for fiscal restraint other than the layoff of some 800 employees across the valley while their top employees get literally millions each year. New TVA legal counsel, Sherry Quirk, has had her salary cut back to $675,000 a year (courtesy of taxpayers) if she meets all goals. This still exceeds what 98 percent of East Tennessee attorneys make.