Thursday, March 3, 2016

Going over Tuesday's election picks

Jennifer Owen
So, how did the ol' Porch do when calling Tuesday night's elections? Well, pretty darn great.

I got nine out of 11. Not too, too shabby. You can read the original predictions RIGHT SMACK HERE.

But, a slight recap.

The county commission races were pretty easy. Michele Carringer is too well known in that 2nd District to lose. Advice: This campaign ain't over. The general election won't be easy.

4th District Incumbent Jeff Ownby's past problem was too much for him to overcome politically (although I do believe he's a good commissioner), and Hugh Nystrom is just too strong of an opponent. The third candidate, Janet Testerman, didn't campaign as hard and didn't campaign right. Her platform was way too general and didn't contain enough substance. Advice: Talk to Jeff. He listens to his constituents.

Brad Anders creamed John Ashley. Everyone saw this one coming. Advice: I don't really have any.

Laura Kildare over Cheri Siler was an easy one, but I figured Siler - with her name recognition - would pull some votes and she did, despite suspending her campaign several months ago. Advice: Campaign hard in the general election. Carringer isn't a pushover.

The countywide races were a little more tricky. Quite frankly - and I was right - I suspected incumbent Law Director Richard "Bud" Armstrong to pull 60 percent over challenger Nathan Rowell. Again, the commercial with county Mayor Tim Burchett supporting "my friend" Bud was a killer. Advice: Rowell says he's going to run in four years. He probably wouldn't be a bad choice, but he needs to lose the slogan that he's a "professional and not a politician." If you run for office you're a politician. Period.

I had John Whitehead down for "barely, barely" beating Jim Weaver in the property assessor's race. He did. By 70 votes. That one could have gone either way. Weaver got a little dirty toward the end, bringing in Whitehead's family, but, whatever, it's politics. Credit to Whitehead for hiring Clay Crownover as his political handler. He knows what he's doing. Even though he's a Democrat in Knox County. Heh. Hahaha. Advice: Don't go into the office and fire everyone. There's good people who work there.

On the school board side of things, I picked a runoff between Susan Horn and Buddy Pelot with Lori Ann Boudreaux placing third. I got that one right as well. I thought there might be a slim chance that Horn would get 50 percent plus one and win it outright, but Pelot was well-funded, so I figured she'd probably hover around 45 percent. I was right on that. Advice: It's gonna take more than money to win this race.

On the presidential side, I picked Trump and Clinton. No-brainers. Advice: Prepare yourself Tennessee. Regardless of who our next president is. Heh.

Now, what did I miss?

OK, I had Rick Staples over Evelyn Gill in the commission race. Like I said, she looks great on paper but he's out there campaigning. Here's why I think he lost. Rick has run unsuccessfully for office a number of times. That puts a bad taste in some folks' mouths. I think it did him in. Advice: Gill, even though she's a Democrat in a strong Democrat district, is in for a fight in the general election. Michael Covington, a Republican, is a strong candidate.

My second bad call was picking Grant Standefer over Jennifer Owen. I'm sorry, but I didn't give her a snowball's chance. This was clearly a pro-superintendent vs anti-superintendent race and the last time that happened in North Knoxville, the heavily funded pro-Jim McIntyre candidate (Tracie Sanger) won. Now, that McIntyre is stepping down as superintendent he was not even a factor. That led me to believe that Grant - with all the coin that the big wigs gave him - was a shoe in. Oops. Advice: Never, never, never underestimate the art of shoe leather and banging on doors.

Anyhoo, congrats to the winners. And those who didn't win aren't necessarily bad candidates. I can see many of them coming back for another shot someday. 

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