Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Republican Primary Contests in Watauga County

Don't you just love it when Congresswoman Virginia Foxx brags! At a Republican banquet last Saturdaynight in Statesville, Foxx said, "There is no division in the Republican Party. I consider myself a member of the TEA party, and we are all members of the TEA party, Taxed Enough Already."

I believe that she also considers herself a member of the other Tea Party, the one that doesn't capitalize all the letters in "tea," but if she really believes there's no division in the Republican Party -- which she demonstrably does not, the old liar … oh never mind! It was an absurd statement on its face.

In Watauga, it looks very much like Tea v. Money, or in one case, maybe Tea v. Tea, but it certainly ain't kumbaya time around the old campfire. Even Virginia Foxx herself has a primary.

County Commissioner Race, Dist. 5
         Allen Trivette (R)
         Jimmy Hodges (R)
Former County Commissioner Allen Trivette is the very embodiment of Tea Party, while his primary opponent, former County Commissioner Jimmy Hodges, is the very embodiment of Chamber of Commerce money. The fact that Hodges was registered as a Democrat while he was on the County Commission years ago may play a role in this contest. The fact that Allen Trivette once actually suggested that the women parents of elementary school children could clean school buildings to save the county money may also play a role in this contest.

County Commissioner Race, Dist. 3
         Karen Lerch (R)
         Matt Klutz (R)
Karen Lerch is running with the apparent blessing of the local GOP. Matt Klutz, perhaps not so much. Judging from her Facebook posts, Karen Lerch is something of a "birther," believing that President Obama is a socialist from Kenya and needs to go back to Africa. Matt Klutz's father Tommy was a very conservative Blowing Rock Town Commissioner until the last election, but that doesn't necessarily define the son.

Watauga County Board of Education
Yes, there's a primary, and two of eight candidates will be eliminated. Five of the eight are either registered Republicans or have taken conservative stances on education, particularly on the subject of banning certain books from the classroom:
            Tiffany Christian
         Ron Henries
         Adam L. Trivette
         Jason Cornett
         Josh Kanoy

The best explanation for this piling on of conservative personnel is that the local GOP didn't do candidate recruitment, so someone is going to get thrown under the primary bus on May 6. Incumbert School Board member Ron Henries is the stand-out "moderate" in this group, comparatively so because of his recent vote not to ban Allende's House of the Spirits from sophomore Honors English classes. He may be in trouble if this primary attracts a plurality of far-right voters.

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