Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Politics of the Treasurer's Race

One of the realities that is coming to the fore in the Tennessee State Treasurer's contest is that there is a very clear and discernible "Anybody But Brody" movement developing among Republicans in the General Assembly. This bodes well for anyone who is in the race except Ira Brody, and it re-enforces the reality that Leadership has a one vote majority in the House, and must do the everyday things (such as selecting Constitutional Officers) right or the GOP may not remain in the majority long enough to redraw legislative district lines after the 2010 U.S. Census.

Truthfully, I've known from the beginning that my friend Vance Cheek Jr. was a longshot to be elected Treasurer by the General Assembly, and he remains so. Some legislators, such as Rep. Jim Coley (R-Bartlett) have come out quite publicly to me and others and professed their public support for David Lillard, while some East Tennessee members have quietly and anonymously informed The World that Lillard is now seen as the frontrunner among the anti-Brody faction within the GOP in the General Assembly.

If all of that is true, it may mean that even in the caucus meeting meant to narrow the field, no one will be nominated by the Republicans on the first ballot, since Ira Brody will still have his group of supporters, many of which are members of the GOP Leadership who have been less-than-clandestinely pushing Brody from the beginning, while David Lillard will have many of the West Tennessee Republicans in his corner with Vance Cheek pulling up enough votes from East Tennessee to stay alive.

The big question will be whether Dale Sims will run for Treasurer again, and if he chooses not to, who will the Democrats put up in his place, if anyone? If Sims were to decide not to stand, and Democrats cast their votes from among the Republican choices, there will be a real competition to get Democratic votes to insure a majority.

What, if anything, would the winner have to promise under such a scenario, and who benefits immediately if Sims decides not to run again?

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