The two candidates seeking the 74 District state House seat have plenty of contrasts that set them apart, says the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle. Incumbent John Tidwell, a Democrat, was first elected in 1996 and has served on various committees and subcommittees through the years, and also served on the Humphreys County Commission, as well as local and regional boards.
Lauri Day, who lives in the Humphreys County town of McEwen, is a small business owner with her husband and has been an outspoken advocate for education in Nashville, which is the extent of her public service and political experience.
Because of redistricting, Dist. 74 now includes Humphreys, Houston and the western part of Montgomery County.
Tidwell said he lost two-thirds of his former district when the boundaries were redrawn. “I’ve not been opposed in the last 10 years,” he said. “I serve the people, and they know that.”
Day, who beat Clarksville City Councilman Nick Steward in the Republican primary, has been in the news lately because of unpaid federal income taxes and a $46,000 IRS lien against her home.
Republican state House candidate Lauri Day suffered collateral damage in an attack sent by her own party against a Democratic candidate in Sumner County, reports the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle. Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney said in an Oct. 2 news release that Steve Glaser, a Democratic candidate for state House District 44, should drop out of the race because of unpaid taxes. Devaney wrote that Glaser’s tax liens exhibited “a pattern of just refusing to pay his fair share.”
Glaser owes nearly $88,000 to the IRS, and at least 15 liens by federal and state tax collectors have been filed between 1988 and August of this year against him, according to the release.
“What arrogance for him to think he could run for office and actually serve in the Legislature. Instead of campaigning to have Tennesseans pay his salary, he should be working a second job to pay his bills,” Devaney said in the release. “Steve Glaser should do what’s right and suspend his campaign until his taxes are paid in full.”
The Tennessee Democratic Party pointed out Monday morning that Devaney’s attack should also apply to Day.
“There’s just one problem – in his zeal to attack a Democrat, Devaney has effectively said that candidate for state House Lauri Day should resign from her race in order to get a second job,” spokesman Sean Braisted wrote in a news release.
Day, who is running against Democratic Rep. John Tidwell in District 74, has a $46,000 lien against her home for unpaid federal income taxes.
“This is just blatant hypocrisy on the part of the Tennessee Republican Party,” said state Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester in the news release. “Either Devaney needs to call on his candidate, Lauri Day, to drop out of her race and get another job, or he needs to come clean and admit that he doesn’t actually mean what he says.”
…Tennessee Republican Party Executive Director Adam Nickas said the cases were different because Glaser had not been up front with voters.
“He came out with desperate and meritless attacks against his Republican opponent while ignoring his excessive amount of unpaid taxes, which is well-documented, even while his campaign touts more government spending just like John Tidwell,” Nickas wrote in an e-mail.
“Lauri Day, on the other hand, has been up-front with the voters and, unlike the Democrats, has been running a campaign based on the important issues facing our state.”
Day said on Monday that she may have mentioned her tax issues on a radio show prior to the Republican primary. The liens first received widespread attention following a Sept. 10 article in The Leaf-Chronicle.
Lauri Day, the Republican challenger to state Rep. John Tidwell, has a $46,000 lien against her McEwen home because of unpaid personal income taxes, reports the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle. Day had an unpaid personal income tax balance of $22,015 from 2003 and $24,082 from 2004, according to the tax lien filed with Humphreys County. Day, who beat Clarksville City Councilman Nick Steward in the Republican primary, said she has been open about her debt to the IRS and did not feel it inhibited her ability to run for office.
“It wasn’t a matter of tax evasion or nonpayment. There’s nothing criminal about anything going on here,” Day said. “I’m currently under a payment plan with the IRS for an outstanding balance.”
Tidwell said he was surprised someone with a lien on their house would run for a state-level office.
“Anybody that has tax liens against their house should not be in charge of the public’s money, and that’s what we are, we pass the budget of the state,” Tidwell said.
…Day said she was unable to pay her personal income taxes after the catering business she runs with her husband underperformed.
“We never know how much money we can make from month-to-month,” Day said. “We had a couple of good years but by the time the tax was due we didn’t have money to pay for it.”
Tidwell and Day are running to represent House District 74, which after this year’s redistricting stretches across Humphreys, Houston, Stewart and Montgomery counties, and includes a western portion of Clarksville.
An organization calling itself the Common Sense Coalition on Friday unleashed a series of accusations against City Councilman Nick Steward, who is running for the Republican nomination to the State House, reports the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle. Among the claims are that Steward has misrepresented his place of residence in order to run for City Council, and again to run for House District 74.
Steward is running against Lauri Day of Humpheys County for the GOP nomination for that seat, with early voting starting Friday, July 13.
“It’s disappointing that my primary opponent and her surrogates would resort to mudslinging and personal attacks,” Steward said in response Friday. “You might want to be an adult rather than have someone else do your hatchet work.”
Day did not return calls seeking comment..
Similar claims have also been brought forward by Rep. John Tidwell, the Democratic incumbent in District 74
The claims are outlined by Neil Revlett, founder and chairman of the coalition, a libertarian-influenced group founded in the wake of the Tea Party movement. Day lists membership in the Humphreys County Tea Party among her affiliations.
Revlett, who ran as a Republican against state Rep. Joe Pitts in 2010, said he was sending his accusations to the District Attorney’s Office, as well as the Election Commission.
“I just hope an investigation goes forward, and we can get to the bottom of this,” Revlett said by phone Friday. “These rumors have been circulating for a couple of years, and it’s time he put these rumors to rest.
As reported in The Leaf-Chronicle in August 2010, Steward ran for the Ward 1 council seat on the basis of his residence being a rented room in the basement of then-Councilwoman Barbara Johnson.
At the time, he owned a house at 236 Short St. in Ward 5. He said he moved in with Johnson because he didn’t want to live alone while his wife was deployed in Afghanistan.
Steward said Friday, though, that he and his wife legally separated in spring 2010 and divorced about a year later. The Short Street residence belongs to his ex-wife, and he hasn’t “even been to her home” since he moved out.”