Supporters of Democrat Gloria Johnson,running for the 13th District state House seat against Republican Gary Loe on Nov. 6, say Loe doesn’t live in the district, although he says he has rented a house and sleeps there.
From Georgiana Vines’s report: Loe said he’s heard Johnson doesn’t live in the district, either. She gives as her address 2506 Brice St., which Knox County tax records show she owns.
Loe, a TV production company owner, lists his address as 2713 Boright Place, owned by a friend. The same friend owns a house at 7215 Kennon Springs Lane, which was Loe’s address when he ran for the Legislature two years ago to represent the 18th District. Rep. Steve Hall won that election.
This columnist looked into Loe’s residency after Diane Humphreys-Barlow sent an email to News Sentinel editors, asking that it be checked out.
Humphreys-Barlow said in an interview that at a house party she had for Johnson, her supporters talked about Loe renting a house, but that no one had seen him at the address. She said she understood he lives in West Hills.
“Is it rumor or validity?” she asked.
A political sign for Loe is in the yard of the near northeast city residence on Boright Place. The first time this columnist went by his address, no car was there. The Kennon Springs Lane address in West Hills also was checked out. That was two weeks ago.
At the time, a grey Volvo apparently belonging to Loe was parked at the Kennon Springs Lane address. Last week, the Volvo was parked at the Boright Place address.
Loe met with this columnist and discussed the residency issue. He said questions shouldn’t be asked about his residence when there is a question about Johnson’s.
“After her supporters put a yard sign (at the Boright Place house), I thought I would take it to her. It appears nobody was at the (Brice Street) home, so I drove by (without stopping),” Loe said.
As for the Boright Place residence, “I moved in in February. In March and August, I voted at Larry Cox (Senior Recreation Center). I sleep there. I do work out of the house,” Loe said.
House District 13 Combat
In House District 13, one of the closest contests in the state, the state parties are weighing in with attacks on both Democrat Gloria Johnson ( Republicans, most recently, suggest she supports voter fraud ) and Republican Gary Loe (Democrats say he favors abortion in cases of rape and incest, for example> Story HERE. The Scene in Northeast Tennessee
The Johnson City Press, as part of a roundup of contests in Northeast Tennessee, includes a review of contested legislative races – though, naturally, Republicans are heavy favorites. Story HERE. Profiles Stories in Senate District 10
The Chattanooga Times-Free Press has campaign profile stories on Republican Todd Gardenhire and Democrat Andrae McGray.
State Rep. Harry Tindell says state House District 13, which he has represented for 22 years, may be seen as a microcosm of the national presidential race when it comes to voters choosing his successor on Nov. 6.
Voters’ partisan options in the district are Democrat Gloria Johnson, a politically active school teacher, and Republican Gary Loe, a former television reporter who now runs a video production operation. Nick Cazana, a retired businessman, is on the ballot as an independent candidate.
“I don’t think anybody can tell you who is going to win,” said Tindell, a Democrat who has met with all three candidates while not declaring his support for any of them.
He basically agrees with The Tennessee Journal, a statewide political news publication, which rates the contest as a tossup between Loe and Johnson. The difficulty in political prophesy, Tindell said, rests in the fairly even balance between Republicans, Democrats and independent-minded voters — rather like the national presidential election picture and a striking contrast to most districts statewide.
While the nation has red states, blue states and swing states, Tindell said, District 13 has red precincts and blue precincts and swing precincts. The red precincts are in the south of the oddly shaped district designed by Republican-drafted redistricting earlier this year.
Frank Cagle’s column this week is about three state House races where he thinks Democrats have a chance this fall. Most of the discussion is about the contest between Democrat Gloria Johnson and Republican Gary Loe for the Knoxville seat vacated by Rep. Harry Tindell. If the Democrats in Knoxville turn out in droves to vote for Obama, it could mean a really healthy turnout for Johnson. There are no really hot local races to fire up Republicans. I don’t think they are worried about U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., losing his race.
Across most of the state, Obama at the top of the ticket is going to cause problems for Democrats down the ballot. Even some veteran Democratic House members in rural West Tennessee might be in trouble. But in Knoxville, urban Democrats are more likely to vote heavily for the president’s re-election.
…There are two other House races where former House members are trying for a comeback.
In Greene County, state Rep. David Hawk was arrested for assaulting his wife. Three opponents split the majority of the vote in the Republican primary, allowing Hawk to squeak in with a plurality. He is being challenged by former state Rep. Eddie Yokley, a likable Democrat who served four terms in the House in a district that used to include part of Greene and also Cocke County.
Who has more baggage in the election? Yokley has Obama at the top of the ticket in a rural, small-town East Tennessee county. Hawk spent a night in jail.
I rate it a toss-up.
Over in Oak Ridge, Republican state Rep. John Ragan is being challenged by the Democrat he beat for the job, former Rep. Jim Hackworth. I think Ragan, a blunt-talking retired fighter pilot, holds on to the seat, but it is a place where Democrats can spend some resources and have a chance for an upset.
Vanderbilt Brabson, who previously worked for the state Legislature, and Gary Loe, who previously watched lawmakers as part of working, are this summer competing against each other to become a member of the General Assembly.
Both of the Republican candidates for House District 13 say their past encounters with the lawmaking process were an inspiration and a learning experience, providing a key item on the resume they are submitting to voters in seeking to represent a diverse slice of the Knox County landscape.
“Rather than reporting on the Legislature on the sidelines, I thought I might instead be getting things done to help the community if I was there myself,” said Loe, responding to a question on why he wanted to become a legislator.
“I believe in better. We can do better,” said Loe, who watched lawmaking in past years as a reporter for WBIR-TV occasionally assigned to visit Nashville.
“Believe in better” was a theme line in Gov. Bill Haslam’s “State of the State” speech to the General Assembly in January. Loe said he did not realize that, though he had heard the phrase used by other politicians.
Vanderbilt “Van” Brabson has been low-key in seeking the Republican nomination for the 13th District House seat that state Rep. Harry Tindell, a Democrat, is vacating, reports Georgiana Vines. But he says that is about to change.
His opponent is Gary Loe, a TV sports producer, who’s campaigning everywhere. Loe says he wants to make sure people know he’s a serious candidate after losing two years ago in a race against state Rep. Steve Hall, who represents the 18th District.
Brabson said he “walked” during commencement at the University of Tennessee in December and was active in the College of Communication and Information’s Diversity Student Leaders Society.
He has been working in Nashville since then as an intern for the legislative fiscal review committee. When he first went there, he was in the House clerk’s office, assisting with the employee consumer affairs committee.
“Once I became a candidate, it looked unethical to be on the floor with members. Then I transferred to the fiscal review committee,” he said.
…He will have a meet-and-greet hosted by Joe Maddox, pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, at the church, 2504 Cecil Ave., at 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 18.
Once he’s through with his internship, he said he will campaign full time.
He and Loe are on the ballot for the GOP primary on Aug. 2. Gloria Johnson, Knox County Democratic Party chair, is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination in August.
Georgiana Vines has an update on candidates for two open seats state House seats in Knox County. Excerpts: Gloria Johnson, Knox County Democratic Party chair who ran unsuccessfully for state Senate last year, says she is going to run for the 13th House District seat being vacated by a fellow Democrat, state Rep. Harry Tindell.
…Gary Loe, a TV sports producer who thought he lived in the new 89th House District, picked up a petition to run for the 13th District seat as a Republican. Loe ran two years ago against the eventual winner, state Rep. Steve Hall, who represents the 18th District.
“I moved into the district two weeks ago,” he said Friday. “I decided I was not in the 89th District (when he lived in West Hills). It didn’t come as far east as I thought.”
…Also picking up a petition to run in the Aug. 2 Republican primary for the 13th District was Vanderbilt Brabson of Millertown Pike.
…Rep. Joe Armstrong, the remaining Democrat in the Knox County delegation, has not yet picked up a petition but Republican Brian Stevens has. Stevens, a graduate student in statistics at UT who lives on Highland Avenue, said his goal eventually is to run against Republican state Sen. Stacey Campfield in 2014.
…Picking up petitions for the new 89th District in northwest Knox County were Roger Kane, an insurance man, and William G. “Bo” Pierce, vice president of Knoxville’s Community Development Corp. Pierce said he would not be able to remain with KCDC if elected