George Flinn, the Memphis multi-millionaire who has made two losing campaigns for U.S. House seats and one for the U.S. Senate, is now running for the state Senate District 30 seat against Democrart Sara Kyle. The Commercial Appeal’s Kyle Veazey poses to him the question, “Why do you keep running for office?”
“Because I see things that can be changed,” he said, hardly pausing. “And I want to be an agent of change, for the better,” he said. “It’s kind of what I do. I’m a healer.”
…Surely, George, you’ve heard the whispers. You’ve had friends, maybe family, pull you aside and wonder about this quest, right? “Sure, sure,” he said.
Has it ever crossed your mind?
He smiled, laughed and looked out the window.
“It’s a lot more fun to win than it is to lose,” he said. “But I just was not brought up to ever quit, quit trying. If it’s about me, if it was about me and ego, I would have stopped a long time ago.”
The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks these things at its website OpenSecrets.org, calculates Flinn’s 0-for-3 pursuit for Washington, D.C., as having cost $5.8 million, the large majority of which Flinn funded himself.
Flinn said he’s hitting District 30 voters hard with the idea that Memphis and Shelby County don’t get their fair share in Nashville. “I’m not asking for preferential (treatment) — I’m saying, equal,” he said. “Because right now, we’re not getting equal.”
To that end, he’s attempting to turn party loyalties on their head and use the Republican super-majority in the state Senate (26 to 7, as of this writing) to his advantage. Send him to Nashville, he says, and his ideas have a chance. Send Kyle, and hers don’t.
Kyle said she’s operating her campaign the only way she knows — stressing why she’s the best candidate for District 30, and not stressing why she’s a better candidate than Flinn.
“I do know Dr. Flinn, and he’s very nice, but I’m just not aware of the many endeavors he’s taken on,” Kyle said, asked if she was using Flinn’s ‘perennial candidate’ status against him. “I’ve got enough on my plate to talk about in my race.”
Such as? “Jobs, jobs, jobs,” is her message in District 30, she said. “And that entails working across the different levels of government.”