On the 6th District GOP Grudge Match: Black v. Zelenik

The nasty primary between U.S. Rep. Diane Black and tea party activist Lou Ann Zelenik two years ago is being repeated this summer, and signs are gathering that the race once again will feature the religiously charged and personal attacks that left the two camps bitter and bruised.
A further excerpt from Chas Sisk’s report on the race:
With the dust from 2010 barely settled, Black and Zelenik once again will face off in August for the Republican nomination to represent Tennessee’s 6th Congressional District.
With no Democrat on the ballot, the primary will settle who represents Nashville’s northern and eastern suburbs in Congress next year. The battle also could help shape the character of the Tennessee Republican Party for years to come — offering voters a straight-up choice between a firebrand activist and a veteran Republican lawmaker who differ in style more than they differ on policy.
In her first term, Black has been ranked as one of the most conservative members of Congress. She has proposed legislation targeting Planned Parenthood, the Democratic health-care reform law and the U.S. Justice Department’s efforts to keep states from cracking down on undocumented immigrants.
“I think people can look at my record and see the things I have accomplished,” she said.
Zelenik is attacking Black as not conservative enough.
“We can’t be wobbly-kneed any longer,” she said. “I represent the people in Tennessee. Not a hierarchy or anything else.”
…One of the key factors in the race will be redistricting. The 6th District was redrawn to exclude Rutherford County, where Zelenik once served as party chairman and drew much of her support. Zelenik responded by moving across the line to Wilson County.
The 2010 race was close, with only 566 votes separating Black from Zelenik and a third candidate, state Sen. Jim Tracy. The race ended with the drug testing firm owned by Black’s husband, David L. Black, suing Zelenik for defamation over a claim made in a TV ad that Black had steered business to his company, Aegis Sciences. A judge dismissed the suit in March.
The redrawn 6th District would appear to be more advantageous for Black. She defeated Zelenik in the parts that remain by 7,000 votes.
But the new district includes more than 30,000 new Republicans. Black has been actively trying to introduce herself to voters in the district, making campaign appearances and, starting Friday, airing radio ads touting her votes on conservative issues.
But Zelenik also has remained politically active. Shortly after her loss in 2010, she cofounded the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, a group that has backed tea party causes. Last week, the group organized the showing of a movie at Cornerstone Church in Madison that took aim at Middle Tennessee’s Muslim community.

One thought on “On the 6th District GOP Grudge Match: Black v. Zelenik

  1. Pat Riley

    My name is Pat Riley and I am also running for US CONGRESS as a GREEN PARTY candidate in this district. A vote for me is a vote for RON PAUL and vote for YOU and a vote for FREEDOM.
    Thank “YOU”… for your vote!

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