Williams not running yesterday, running today-tomorrow, a new spinBetty Bean wrote a boo-hoo piece in the Halls Shopper in which she interviewed State Senator Mike Williams, who declared that it is the fault of all of us evil Republicans that he isn't running for re-election:
“The combination of seeing people in elected office say one thing publicly and get to Nashville and act 100 percent opposite,”’ Williams said. “I caught heat for voting for last year’s budget. Not one Republican voted for it in our area, but my school systems got badly needed extra money. I voted for the cigarette tax, too, and it funded a regional trauma center here in East Tennessee.
This was all part of Williams' pork reward for voting with Bredesen and against his party, but most importantly against the wishes of a majority of his informed constituents. If Williams does not run for re-election, it will not be because he "doesn't want to do it anymore," but because he has figured out that he can't win outside of Union County. I wouldn't count on him not running, as he is an independent only in name-Bredesen and the Democratic Leadership stand at the ready to help him get re-elected.
A couple of days ago, I would have said this was all a bluff, but if there is any truth to the rumors that former Lt. Governor John Wilder (the man who has served as Williams' chief enabler) may retire from the Senate this week, there is a bit less incentive for Williams to run. Wilder's district has trended increasingly Republican in recent years, and that trend could translate into a Republican pick-up. Unless the Democrats win an overall majority in the Senate without Wilder's seat, the GOP could solidify its hold on the Senate and leave a re-elected Williams isolated. The Democrats would no have use for him and the Republicans could not trust him.
If Williams does not step aside, he will lose in November. We will do our part to see to that much.