It’s the day before Primary Election day here in 2020. If you haven’t already early voted, I hope you’ll go out tomorrow and make your choice. Even if you’re not voting for me. Or can’t because you’re in a different district. I just hope you go vote.
I looked back at the first thing I wrote here on the ol’ campaign website and it was about why I’m running. I think I’ve refined my message a little bit since then. And I suspect I’m going to continue to do so up until the election in August. I think as a candidate, I owe it to the people who might consider voting for me to be open to new ideas. Or change my focus if I spot something that I haven’t looked at before.
But, my original three things stand up pretty well – Choice, Money, and Service. I’ve kept to my pledge to take a stand against the influence of money in Knox County politics. And I’ve got a background in public service that I’m trying to continue with being a candidate for County Commission. But, perhaps the single most important thing about my candidacy is that I want to make sure that voters have a choice.
You can see it on Facebook or in the media. You can hear it when you talk to people. So many people have told me that you can’t get anywhere in Knox County running as a Democrat. The primary election is the only one that matters. Sometimes that’s because the winning Republican ends up running unopposed in the general election. Sometimes there’s one Republican running and no Democrat (as is the case in County Commission, Districts 6, 8, and 9 this year). And sometimes, it’s because people just write off the Democrat before the election even starts.
This is the situation I find myself in. My friend Kimberly Peterson is facing the same uphill battle in her race for the County Commission, District 5 seat. We both have two Republicans running in the primary. They’ll have to face off against us in the August election, but many assume the winner of the primary will end up being the Commissioner.
Maybe they’re right. The voting history in our districts shows that they’re lean Republican at the least. And it’s on us to put up a fight so that the winner tomorrow can’t just assume that he (yeah, they’re all guys) will cruise to victory. In my race, the Republicans have raised about $50,000 between them to win this $1,000 a month job. I disagree with making it about campaign contributions, but it’s on me to make them have to raise twice as much as that to beat me.
Because here’s the point. No matter what happens tomorrow in my district or in Kimberly’s, the race isn’t over. And anyone who says that it is is taking your vote for granted. No matter what you think of the guy who wins in the 4th or 5th District, you’re not stuck with him. You have another choice. We’re Democrats and part of that means that we believe in small “d” democracy. You have a choice in this election. Both tomorrow and in August. You’ll be hearing from me a lot over the next 5 months. Stay tuned.