Georgiana Vines reviews voting records of Karen Carson and Jason Zachary, the two candidates vying to succeed former state Rep. Ryan Haynes in a House District 14 special election.
Zachary, 38, a congressional candidate in 2014, has voted in five GOP primaries with the Knox County Election Commission since 1996, and Carson, 58, has voted in 16 Republican primaries and two Democratic primaries since 1992. Prior to being elected to the school board, she voted in most elections, although not every primary.
When Carson first ran for the school board in 2004, that nonpartisan race, county primary and presidential preference primary were held on Feb. 10. Carson won nearly two-thirds of the vote against incumbent Brian Hornback. She voted in the Democratic presidential primary, although she doesn’t remember the candidate, she said Friday.
“George Bush was going to be the Republican. There were some pretty scary Democrats running,” she said.
John Kerry eventually became the Democrats’ choice.
The other Democratic vote was for a state primary and county general election on Aug. 1, 1996. Again, she said she couldn’t remember whom she supported.
Otherwise, Carson has consistently voted in Republican county, state and federal elections, nonpartisan school board races and general elections.
Zachary has consistently voted in presidential elections since 1996 and state general elections since 2006. He began voting in a county primary or school board race in 2008 and voted in all three elections held in 2014.
Zachary said he has had “more of an engagement” the past few years in trying to understand the political process.
“I became aware of how important primaries are, especially in East Tennessee,” he said.
n related developments, the Tennessee Right to Life Political Action Committee has endorsed Zachary after both candidates completed questionnaires and were interviewed, said Brian Harris, the group’s president.
Neither candidate is being endorsed by a small business organization. Jim Brown, Tennessee state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, said both candidates did well on a questionnaire, and the group’s PAC decided not to get involved in this race.