With all the hype from the political parties and commercials, voters should be more excited about the race to fill the 62nd State House of Representatives seat.
Early voting in the election ended yesterday with a whopping 64 of 2,412 eligible Rutherford countians casting ballots.
Bedford County saw a slightly better turn out with 2,641 of about 23,000 voters cueing up early. Lincoln County than more than 1,200 showing up at the polls.
Even with a seemingly apathetic district, the Democrats and Republicans are waging a war with each other over the seat.
Rutherford County Democratic Party Chairman Jonathan Fagan jumped into the fray Thursday and demanded an explanation from Republican candidate Pat Marsh after calling attention to conflicting statements by the Republican State House Candidate.
“Rutherford County voters should take note of what Marsh says while he is in Lincoln County or Bedford County,” Fagan said. “He ran a newspaper advertisement touting his intent to redraw House District 62 to only include Bedford and Lincoln counties.
Fagan said Marsh ran newspaper advertisements in Lincoln County's Elk Valley Times vowing to exclude Rutherford County from the 62nd House district by redrawing district boundaries to include only Lincoln and Bedford Counties, but told a Rutherford County newspaper he will represent Rutherford County’s interests too.
Member of the Republican State Executive Committee representing Rutherford County Tim Rudd agreed that Rutherford County will likely gain a new state House seat in the next redistricting in 2012, regardless of who is elected.
“With our population growth, … whomever is elected in the current 62nd District will most likely not represent us after 2012,” Rudd said. “Pat has pledge to try and keep Lincoln and Bedford together during redistricting (they already make up over 90 percent of the District). Pat Marsh will represent Rutherford County with distinction and honesty for as long as we remain a part of the 62nd District.”
Rudd has a point. The 62nd district only covers a small portion of Rutherford County, including three precincts: Blackman United Methodist Church, Eagleville Community Center and Rockvale Community Center.
But Fagan insisted it’s the double talk from the Republican that concerns him.
“When he is here in Rutherford County, he promises to work hard for us if he is elected. Sounds to me like Mr. Marsh is talking out of both sides of his mouth. We don’t need a state representative who only pays attention to Rutherford County when he’s pandering for a vote,” Fagan said.
Rudd countered it is Fagan that’s pandering to the voters.
“The fact is Pat Marsh will be there for us, because he is one of us,” Rudd said.
Maybe with all the fighting, more voters will turn up Tuesday for the general election.
Michelle Willard can be contacted at 615-869-0816 or firstname.lastname@example.org.