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Nov 04, 2004 12:00 am
Tennessee's leading Democrats were uncharacteristically quiet during the national fervor of the last year's presidential race.
Part of the answer Governor Phil Bredesen, Congressmen Harold Ford, Jr. and Bart Gordon were not engaged in the Kerry/Bush groundwar was because Tennessee was a lost cause for Democrats from the start.
The other reason was that Tennessee's incredibly popular governor is already working on re-election and establishing coat tails for Ford to ride to a U.S. Senate win in 2006.
Sources close to both Bredesen and Ford said during the waning days of the presidential campaign that both men's staffs are already talking strategy for Bredesen's reelect and Ford's U.S. Senate bid for Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's open seat in 2006.
The word "ticket" is being used to describe how Bredesen and Ford may dovetail their campaigns, with Bredesen likely to have no credible opposition from Republicans.
Ford, meanwhile, will likely draw one of two GOP candidates recycled from unsuccessful 2002 campaigns: former Congressmen Van Hilleary or Ed Bryant.
The Bredesen and Ford camps are discussing how to share polling data and develop other synergies between the two burgeoning campaigns.
Bredesen's coattails were being tested in advance this election year in the 18th District State Senate race.
Bredesen loaned his on-camera presence to one State Senate campaign, that of Senate Speaker Pro Tempore JoAnn Graves from Gallatin.
Ashe for Mayor
It is a slogan that is likely to cause great unrest in more than a few wings of local government.
It is also a slogan now emblazoned on yard signs and bumper stickers sitting quietly in a local sign shop.
Wilson County Sheriff Terry Ashe admitted this week that, yes indeed, there were mayoral race sign bearing his name in existence. Newly made signs.
However, the Ashe for Mayor signs do not say whether the High Sheriff might be running for Lebanon mayor or county mayor.
Both seats have been the subject of speculation lately. County Mayor Bob Dedman's political future has been often discussed, with many speculating he will decline another run.
Lebanon Mayor Don Fox only recently backed away from a State Senate bid he said he was seriously considering at one time.
In truth, there has been more talk about Ashe simply moving his flag over to the County Courthouse and into Dedman's seat than mounting a run against Fox.
Yet, Ashe made reference to one of Fox's likely opponents in the next mayoral race, City Councilman William Farmer, in answering what his next campaign might be.
"I'm like William Farmer, a threat to any office," Ashe said.
Oddly, the sign shop in question is that of former Lebanon Mayor Bobby Jewell.
Doom, Despair and Agony
William Farmer's mayoral plans are in the process of taking a serious hit.
Farmer, who is already saying privately he will run against Fox, has had to sit by and watch the very City Council who appointed him to his seat and supported his election last year extend Fox's term.
The move is in an effort to align the Lebanon City elections with Tennessee's gubernatorial race and the off-year City Council elections with the presidential election.
Lebanon city races have notoriously low voter turnout, a trend proponents of the move say the new alignment can fix.
That means an extra year for Fox and an extra year to wait for Farmer.