Tea Party vs. Business Conservatives

As we said previously, there are two camps in this election. The supporters tell the story. Will the board be controlled by Tea Party/912-endorsed folks or those endorsed by business conservatives?

Gadsden

Remember 2014? Incumbents and challengers were all Republicans. The contest was between the Tea Party/912-endorsed challengers and the more moderate business Republican incumbents. The Tea Party/912 candidates won every seat.

And here we are again.

The Williamson County version of the Tea Party right: focus on religion (and specifically on the teaching the content of world religions in social studies), skepticism of public (or, as some call them, “government”) schools and teachers, driving national ideological/political fights down to the school board level.

Business conservatism is less ideological. Local businesses are focused on home values, community reputation, and an ability to recruit and retain quality professional employees who want to move here. They view school quality and reputation as a part of Williamson County’s economic success and believe the Tea Party drama of the last two years detracts from that.

District Tea Party/912-endorsed Business/conservative-endorsed
1 Richard Davis No endorsement (Angela Durham is the non-Tea Party-endorsed candidate)
3 Kim Little No endorsement (Eliot Mitchell and Christy Coleman are the non-Tea Party-endorsed candidates)
4 Joey Czarneski Anne McGraw
5 Julie Mauck Gary Anderson
7 Jennifer Luteran Bobby Hullett
9 Denise Boothby Rick Wimberly
11 Stuart Cooper KC Haugh

 

A note on our reporting: We plan to post the endorsements of active PACs (and other groups) in the county. We will note information that seems relevant, including but not limited to the type of group, their past and current involvement in school board and other politics, and the decision-makers of the group.

You may recall that the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance fined Williamson Strong for posting the 2014 endorsements of W-PACE, the PAC affiliated with the local teachers’ association. They considered that reporting on our Facebook page to be an endorsement (and thus a financial contribution) by Williamson Strong. We also reported on the endorsements made by the 912 organization. The Registry position on this is blatantly ridiculous—not to mention unconstitutional—and we are simply going to follow the law as they have applied it to every other group. There are a great number of news outlets (including every major print publication in the state) and blogs that report on endorsements by other groups; however, we found zero incidents (other than our case) in which the Registry concluded that noting whom another group endorsed is in itself an endorsement and therefore a contribution.

 

For more information about each district’s candidates, visit our Updated 2016 WCSB Election Roundup.

 

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