Monday, December 11, 2006

Hornback will step down-what's next?

Knox County Republican Party Chairman Brian Hornback announced in a press release yesterday that he would not seek re-election as Knox Party Chairman in March.

“My family has allowed me the opportunity to serve. My wife and children have sacrificed time without their husband and father for the good of the community and for a better Knox County government.” “It is time for me to honor them with my time, energy and devotion.”

I believe Brian when he says that family considerations played a big role in his decision. When you are involved with anything in politics or public life, it not only takes away from family time, but it has a tendency to consume you. However, I do have to wonder if his decision is tied to the reality that the
Mike Ragsdale gravy train is in the process of coming to a screeching halt. There is also the question of whether Brian Hornback will accept some sort of political appointment in the near future is, I think, probably quite an open one. Indeed, Brian himself points out the fact that the end of his days as Chairman do not signal the end of his regular involvement in politics.

When asked about his future plans. He said that he will continue to support Republican candidates and is not ruling out being active with Republican campaigns, candidates or a future candidacy.

Indeed not. I suspect that he may either run for something or receive an appointment of some kind. What I am hoping Brian does continue to blog, but does so in a more thorough way in which he tells us more of what he actually thinks. He will soon be free from the constraints of being Chairman, a position that requires him (under the bylaws of the Knox County and T
ennessee Republican Parties) to support the nominees of the Party for various office unconditionally-with the notable new exception of not being required to support candidates who fail to vote for Republicans for legislative leadership positions. While I support these rules for the sake of the Party, they are constraining-we all know that from time to time there are candidates and personalities that are less than worthy, and that is putting it kindly.

He notes his accomplishments of the Party under his tenure:

“On November 7, 2006 we delivered more than 15,000 votes for United States Senator Elect Bob Corker, than his opponent received.” “Congressman Duncan was re-elected by the second largest percentage of any contested incumbent Member of Congress in the United States.” “We maintained every Tennessee Republican seat that we held including State Representative Stacey Campfield.”

I will say this for Brian Hornback as Chairman: He and I did not always see eye to eye, but he is one of the most effective and open Party Chairmen than I have ever met. When I e-mailed Brian Hornback and offered what help and service I could to the Knox County Republican Party, he responded with openness, genuine friendliness, and a whole lot of class. In having his own blog, he has allowed himself to be put before the local press in a way that other Republican County Chairmen around the State and around the Union have largely avoided-to the Party's detriment.

I wish I could say the same about the Jefferson County apparatus. Since moving to White Pine, the Chairman of the
Jefferson County Republican Party has yet to respond to my overture of involvement-Brian Hornback did. I will be curious to see who replaces Brian and whether they do things in a drastically different way.



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