A very nice gentleman who is running for one of the Williamson County Commission seats stopped by my house last weekend.
I must confess the county commission is one of those bodies about which I know very little. I know what they do (sort of), but I get confused about the different districts. The man who came to my house reminded me what district I live in, and I told him I would consider voting for him.
I asked him if he had received the endorsement of Williamson Families, a conservative political action committee (PAC) that has been particularly active in the public-school space. In addition to endorsing certain school board candidates, the group has made picks for some of the commission seats as well.
He said he had not received the group’s endorsement and was not sure what he would need to do to get it. He did not appear overly concerned about it, however, and said he thought he could mount a successful run on his own credentials.
I assured him I agreed, and the endorsement, or lack thereof, was not a factor for me. I was simply curious since this PAC’s brand seems to be growing and it is getting the word out about the endorsements for these positions.
I wrote about Williamson Families a few weeks ago, referring to their interest in school issues, specifically their concern about library books.
I find it interesting that, in one of the most conservative counties in the country, there is fear of a “progressive agenda” infiltrating not only the schools, but other institutions as well.
That might be another discussion – one I would love to participate in, by the way.
What I am wondering about today, however, is the importance of endorsements.
As I have stated here in the past, I am an independent voter, not affiliated with a political party. Perhaps for that reason I am not inclined to vote – or not vote – for a candidate because a particular person or group has endorsed him or her.
Newspapers will sometimes endorse candidates. I assume these selections are made upon the recommendation of an editorial board. While I might read about those endorsements to educate myself, it’s doubtful they would have much, if any, influence on my vote.
Former President Trump obviously believes his endorsements of Republican candidates is still important. He has made plenty of them across the country as this year’s midterm election campaigns get underway.
Tennessee Republicans were proud to have then President Trump’s endorsement in the last election. Senator Marsha Blackburn brought him here and stood beside him as she assured Tennessee voters of her undying loyalty to the sitting president.
But I wonder if the Trump endorsement is still as coveted as it once was. Despite what he and his most ardent followers might believe, he lost the last election, both in popular and electoral college votes. The popular vote was not even close.
On the other hand, plenty of GOP hopefuls still march to Trump’s drum. I spend a fair amount of time in Alabama, where Republican candidates still tout their allegiance to him in their ads, while speaking disparaging words about their primary opponents who allegedly have not sufficiently bowed at the Trump alter.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, jockeying for a run for the White House in 2024, has finally put some distance between himself and Trump. With Trump having turned on him, he knows that is an endorsement he is not getting.
Pence has a balancing act to do, seeking votes from not only Trump loyalists, but from those who might have agreed with Trump policies but know his rants about election-rigging are misguided, at best.
I suppose, in the red states that went strongly for Trump, many GOP candidates will hedge their bets and count on a majority of the electorate still strongly favoring the former president who hints at another run himself in 2024. (Lord help us.)
That election is mercifully still in the future, and I don’t have to think about it now.
But I do think, for the county commission election coming up, I’ll make a point of voting for the nice guy who came to my door who is choosing to run on his own merits.
Bob McKinney is a longtime Brentwood resident, happy husband and proud father, father-in-law and grandfather. Email him at [email protected].