by Joe Kirkpatrick
Elections are right around the corner. Promises, promises, and more promises are spewing forward from the various candidates' mouths. Who in the world should you vote for?
Though I am a registered Republican, I pick by qualifications first, and party lines secondly. If an incumbent has done a good job, I vote for them - period. A candidate running against an incumbent can promise anything they want to, because bottom line is, they do not have to base their promises with facts that support them. An incumbent on the other hand, can offer no more than how they have being doing their job.
Even though they have never done the job, I see many candidates making promises of how they can do the job much better than the incumbent. In reality, if they do win, on their first day of the job they will be asking one of the workers in that department, "What do I do now?"
As far as the office of County Mayor, I think Gary Davis has done a good job. While in office, Mayor Davis has never proposed a tax increase. Also, under his leadership, the annual county budget has always been balanced. Gary Davis is tight with a dollar. I told that to my next door neighbor who is supporting one of the other candidates. My neighbor replied, "Well they probably will be too." Why go with "probably" when you have a sure thing?
In the Register of Deeds Office, there is a former fireman, a farmer who is also an accountant, and a woman who has worked in the Register's office with 23 years of experience. I don't know any of these candidates. However, there is that glaring fact that only one of them has any experience in that office.
The Trustee's office is another office where someone is challenging the incumbent. As far as I know, I don't know Mike Smith. However, he is already in that office, and I've seen nothing bad about him. I also read where he invested some of the collected funds into an account that has made the county money. That's pretty much all I need to know.
In the governor's race, I like Zack Wamp, but I'm not voting for him. Congressmen do not budget money - they spend it. Haslam and McWherter both have run sizeable companies - my choice will be one of them.
There are way too many other offices up for grabs to mention every one of them. However, in the county commission races, current commissioner Mike Plumley and former commissioner Lindsay Hathcock, who is running again, both always seem to be level headed and made wise decisions.
As I said last month, public elections should not be a middle school popularity contest. I have voted several times for people I didn't even like personally. We are in very hard economic times, and we need people in office with experience and proven track records. We need people who know how to budget and manage finances.
In closing, I would like to make one more point: Our president is someone who was wildly popular with no experience.
Need I say more?