Tag Archives: district 31

House Districct 31, Cobb V. Travis, is Bitterly Contested

The latest development in the bitterly contested state House District 31 GOP primary is that incumbent Rep. Jim Cobb, R-Spring City, and Republican challenger Ron Travis, of Dayton, really do agree on some things, reports Action Andy Sher.
Both men have reservations about school vouchers, and both say they back anti-abortion legislation.
Beyond that, though, all bets are off in a contest that has attracted statewide attention. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is probing challenges by election officials of Democrats and other voters who are trying to vote in the Republican primary, which can be done if certain criteria are met.
The Rhea County Herald-News recently reported that, since 1996, Cobb has voted in one Democratic primary while Travis has voted in two.
The winner of Thursday’s GOP primary will be the next representative because no Democrat is running.
Cobb has accused Travis of being more of a Democrat than a Republican, saying he voted at least twice in Democratic primaries. He charged that Travis and his supporters hatched a plot “to get as many Democrats as possible to vote in the Republican primary.”
Citing his six years of experience in the Legislature, Cobb said electing Travis would be a “waste of time for a guy I believe really is not a conservative.”
Cobb has said repeatedly he has not been part of the GOP voting challenges.
Travis, 57, said he’s been a Republican since he was 18, although acknowledging he never has voted for Cobb, 61, who’s now seeking a fourth term.
“I’ve never put much faith in Jim Cobb,” said Travis, who calls himself a conservative. “I don’t like him representing me. I don’t think he does anything for us other than naming some roads for people and a dog-restraint bill. He couldn’t even get a second on it.”

A Game of ‘Who’s a Republican?’ in House District 31

The question of who’s a Republican and who’s not has become a major issue in the Tennessee House District 31 GOP primary, reports Action Andy.
Rep. Jim Cobb, R-Spring City, faces opponent Ron Travis, of Dayton, in the race and, last week, Rhea County Republican election officials challenged as many as 30 would-be GOP primary voters on grounds they were Democrats and not “bona fide” Republicans.
Now Cobb is charging that Travis himself is little more than a Democrat in disguise.
Travis, an insurance agency owner, said he has considered himself a Republican since he began voting.
“Let me tell you, I am a Republican. I have been a Republican since I was 18 years old. I choose the Republican Party. I have voted in Democratic primaries in the past. I have voted for the person.”
He acknowledged he has “voted for the person” and said he has never voted for Cobb because he doesn’t think the state representative has done a good job.
…Cobb said he’s “staying completely away” from the challenges.
“I have told people I’m certainly not going to participate in enforcing a challenge,” he said. “As many Democrats would vote for me as for [Travis].”
Stopping short of accusing Cobb of being behind the move, Travis said he understands 25 to 30 people have been challenged in the GOP primary. But, he said, he is told that Republican election officials are letting “some people of the Democrat persuasion through. … I don’t know how they’re determining it.”
That raises questions, he said. No Democrat is running and the GOP candidate will become the next representative. Given that, there is natural interest among Democrats to cross over, Travis said.
“I’ve had people say this is the worst feeling in the world where they say they can’t vote,” Travis said.

“I’ve never put much faith in Jim Cobb,” he said. “I don’t like him representing me. I just don’t think he does anything for us.”
Cobb, a TVA retiree seeking a fourth term, said Travis has voted in Democratic primaries at least twice in the past four election cycles.
“His voting record and his entire past reflects a Democrat leaning,” Cobb said, adding that the district leans Republican, making it “very hard” for a Democrat to run and win.
“So this idea of running on the Republican ticket was a plan started before the filing deadline,” Cobb continued. “The plan is to get as many Democrats as possible to vote in the Republican primary.”
Still, Cobb said he isn’t behind the challenges of some would-be GOP primary voters by Rhea County Administrator of Elections Theresa Snyder and other Republicans.
Tennessee primaries are open — the state has no registration by party — but crossover efforts can be challenged if the voter is not a “bona fide” party member. A voter also can take an oath declaring allegiance to a party when the person wishes to cast a ballot in a specific primary.