Republican wins state house special election

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 10:07pm

Republicans seized another Democratic seat in the state House of Representatives Tuesday in the special election to succeed Rep. Curt Cobb.

Trucking company owner Pat Marsh beat Cobb's brother, Ty, by a vote of 4,931 to 3,663 in House District 62, which includes Bedford and parts of Lincoln and Rutherford counties. It gives Republicans a 51-48 advantage in the House and makes it that much harder for Tennessee's beleaguered Democrats to return to power in the high-stakes 2010 elections. Democrats lost the legislature to Republicans in the '08 elections for the first time since the Civil War.

Democrats poured everything they had into this campaign to hold this seat, attacking Marsh with mailers and a TV ad. Many observers described the election as a bellwether for 2010, a strong indication of just how much Barack Obama's unpopularity here might hurt Democrats in state races.

A UPS delivery man with a folksy style and a winning name, Cobb ran for the seat after his brother, Curt, resigned to take a higher paying county government job. He talked like a conservative, even taking the Right to Life endorsement, and state GOP chair Chris Devaney couldn't resist needling Democrats for running a candidate with Republican views.

“Democrats tipped their hand in this election and demonstrated that their strategy to get their candidates elected is to have them run as Republicans,” Devaney said. “It seems that Democrats know they have to run as Republicans because the American people are rejecting policies being pushed by liberal Democrats at the local, state and federal levels.”

The loss is an embarrassment for state Democratic Party chair Chip Forrester, who won his job a year ago by boasting of his skills as a grassroots organizer. Forrester conceded before the voting that this low-turnout election, which emphasized the importance of identifying voters and getting them to the polls, would put his abilities to the test.

For Republicans, the victory boosts fund-raising, helps candidate recruitment and builds momentum for 2010, when legislative elections will determine which party wins the right to try to redraw the state's political districts for the next decade.

10 Comments on this post:

By: idgaf on 10/13/09 at 9:08

Now they (GOP) have to legislate like conservatives.

By: govskeptic on 10/14/09 at 4:31

I noted with interest Democratic Maj. leader Gary Odom came out of
the shadows to be on hand election night along with Mr. Forrester to
take credit for the expected Cobb victory. Living in Nashville I know
nothing about the campaigns other than TV commericals which in my
opinion were terrible for both candidates!

By: Kosh III on 10/14/09 at 6:48

Yes Id. Expect no action on the crumbling economy or health care. Expect plenty of attacks against the liberties of women and gay citizens, plus massive welfare payments to wealthy corporations.

By: vechester on 10/14/09 at 7:14

Kosh, you didn't mention the rights of the unborn child. Oh, wait a minute, you don't care about those individuals...

And you didn't mention the rights and liberties of parents who want a "choice" in their child's education. Oh, wait, you don't care about those individuals...

I see now, it's selective freedoms you care about. Like protecting the "certain freedoms and rights" but maybe not the rights of gun owners protected under the 2nd Amendment.

Why don't you just make a list of the ones you like and the ones you don't and post them here for all to see.

By: Tull on 10/14/09 at 7:51

"massive welfare payments "
A liberal complaining about welfare payments?

By: Kosh III on 10/14/09 at 7:55

I oppose abortion but don't want the GOP nanny state telling women what to do with their own body. Funny how the GOP controlled Congress from 95-07 and the White House from 01-08 yet NOT ONCE was there a concerted effort to eliminate abortion. It's more useful as a campaign fundraiser. "Woe unto you...hypocrites."

I oppose capital punishement. Murder by the state is still murder.

You can have your guns if it helps your insecurity, but all guns should be licensed, just as automobiles are licensed and managed. Thier use should also be licensed, just as you have to get a drivers license.

School choice is often just a code word for racism or classism. I care that a child gets a good education and separate but equal doesn't work. Funny how home schooling and private schools didn't flourish until school integration.

And just how will Republicans expand freedom and restict government? So far they have used the coercive power of the state to do the opposite.

By: vechester on 10/14/09 at 8:29

Kosh you contradict yourself. In your 3rd paragraph you want massive restrictions and regulations on my right to own a firearm. And your last paragraph says that you want to expand freedom and you accuse conservatives of restricting it. Please look in a mirror and figure out who you are (hypocrite).

If you want to start with state sanctioned killing, let's start with the millions of innocents that are murdered each year in the name of a "woman's choice", and then we can discuss the killing of criminals who have also killed. I'm all for that in that order.

As for insecurities, I am quite confident in my ability to control and operate my S&W 40 cal and protect my family from intruders. And yes I have been finger-printed, back ground checked, and all the other intrusive acts of a federal gov to make sure I can "have" a firearm, which by the way is not mentioned in the 2nd Amendment.

You need to step outside of your liberal views for once and see just how ridiculous your arguments really are.

Semper Fi

By: TN4th on 10/14/09 at 8:57

Maybe when democrats run like Democrats, they will inspire their own base, instead of trying to (unsuccessfully) encroach on the Republicans'. Mike Turner (TN House Democratic Caucus Chair) thinks our best hope is to walk and talk like a right-wing conservative. If I were one of those, I'd vote for the Real Thing, not a Democratic Minnie-me.

Unfortunately, Turner apparently wields power when it comes to who is supported the Statehouse elections and how they are told to run, so Democrats may be doomed.

I HOPE that progressive Democrats, who focus on the REAL issues of jobs, growth, education, and healthcare, and who want to stop corporate welfare and rein in the power of corporate lobbyists, and get us back on a sensible track, will run in 2010 DESPITE Turner and his apologist ilk.

I BELIEVE that, if given the choice, voters will vote with their brains, and not get distracted by the social-issues side show. It does the Democratic Party no good to try to out-sideshow the side show impresarios in the GOP.

By: Anna3 on 10/14/09 at 9:44

Odom is smart and capable...I cannot say the same for Turner. Turner is dumb as a box of rocks and has a mean streak too ...which endears him to no one. This loss does damage to Odom, Turner, and Forresters image and certainly paints a picture as to where the legislative elections are headed in 2010. It seems the Dems may be in a world of hurt this coming year...and Obama is doing them no good with his policies here in Tennessee. Liberal Democratic politics are being roundly rejected by Tennesseans on a regular basis so Turner and his ilk are doing the only thing that they know to do...that is to become faux Republicans.

By: Kosh III on 10/14/09 at 10:53

"And yes I have been finger-printed, back ground checked, and all the other intrusive acts of a federal gov to make sure I can "have" a firearm, which by the way is not mentioned in the 2nd Amendment."

Do you find drivers licenses and auto licensing too intrusive? It's not in the Constitution either despite the fact that auto deaths are a huge killer.

As to abortion, why avoid my point about the failure of Republicans to control it when they had the power to do so?

As to looking in a mirror, you show the usual hypocrisy of loving life before birth but hating life after. The death penalty is still murder no matter who does it.