We all know that 2016 was a great year for Republicans (and a not-so-great year for Democrats), but let’s take a closer look at what happened and what’s ahead in 2017.
First, while the biggest political story of the year was Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential race, some observers were surprised by the size of Trump’s win in Tennessee. Trump won Tennessee by nearly 25 points – a higher margin than Mitt Romney’s 20-point win in 2012 and John McCain’s 15-point win in 2008.
Republicans have long dominated Knox County Commission, but Democrats used to be a scrappy bunch who found a way to hold onto five or six seats on the 19-member body and finagle their way to into the vice-chair slot. Today, Democrats hold just two of nine district seats, and don’t dare even dream of snagging the two at-large positions, which leaves them with just their traditional District 1 and 2 strongholds in the heart of the city.
Next year, Republicans are coming for more. Riding a statewide tide of “Red to the Roots” success, they’ve drawn a bead on District 1, which has not elected a Republican in living memory, although there was surely a Republican squire from East Knoxville on the old Quarterly Court at some time from its organization in 1915 to its dissolution in 1980. Party activists have decided that Michael Covington is the guy who can get it done in 2016. He has been campaigning for months and is energetic, talkative and liable to show up anywhere.
Republicans rule. You knew it when you read eight featured speakers on the program at the Union County Lincoln Reagan Day Dinner. Thank goodness for the roast beef and mashed potatoes from Anderson Farms Catering from Corryton.