Friday, August 02, 2002

Sometimes, I'm Completely Baffled

The Commercial Appeal reports one story very oddly and avoids another.

In reporting on State Senator John Ford's race and victory, the CA manages to squeeze in, at the bottom of the story, this interesting bit:
In District 17's Democratic primary, write-in candidate Sherry Fisher defeated 20-year veteran Robert Rochelle, whose late decison not to run left his name on the ballot. If Rochelle had won, he planned to withdraw from the race, which would have given the election to Republican challenger Mae Beavers.<

Where to start? First, Sherry Fisher self-recruited to spare Rochelle the embarrassment of either having to ask folks not to vote for his name in November, or of not having a Democrat on the ballot. And it turns out that she is not who she claims, nor a first timer as the press reported. She was originally known as Sherry Cumming and has run for two other offices under that name and a similar one. Tax Free Tennessee ran an expose on her last week. Check the archives.

Second, Rochelle's "late decision not to run" happened a bit differently than that. He was fully in the campaign. But after the income tax defeat in July he suspended his campaign; when informal polling showed he was losing to Beavers, he quit. But would the CA run "late decision to quit" about their hero? Not likely.

In fact, Rochelle received votes, even though it was widely known he'd dropped out! Fisher was hoping to generate enough write-in votes to get on the ballot in November. Which tactic is what Tipton County GOP President Antonio Lopez is waging against the 800-pound gorilla--House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh.

There were so many write-in votes in that race that they were still being counted into this morning. The last count I saw had Lopez with over 1100 write-in votes. That's a very impressive number, considering who he's up against and that he only had 22 days to organize the whole thing. Lopez is claiming that he's got the votes to be on November's ballot.

But none of that David and Goliath story made it into the CA. I suspect it was the same reason--not embarrassing their hero, Jimmy Naifeh, nor given comfort to their enemy, Lopez.

Until next time,
Your Working Boy

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