Strong Republican turnout may give Crafton edge

Friday, July 30, 2010 at 2:39pm

Following a resounding primary victory in May, Davidson County Juvenile Court clerk candidate David Smith, a Democrat, was immediately crowned the frontrunner in August’s general election.

Smith, a General Sessions Court officer, had accumulated nearly 50 percent of the vote, crushing six others in the Democratic primary, including incumbent Vic Lineweaver, who mustered just 12 percent of the vote.

The hard part was over, wasn’t it? Come August, a match-up against a Republican candidate in a decidedly Democratic county would surely give Smith the advantage.

But based on early voting figures, it appears Smith could be in for a real battle with Eric Crafton, the conservative Bellevue council member, known best for his failed English-only push.

As of late Thursday afternoon, 18,154 Davidson County residents had taken part in early voting. Of those, 9,632 had voted in the Republican primary compared to 8,436 who had voted in the Democratic primary. Eighty-six voters chose to cast their ballots in the Metro general election but not in either primary.

Clearly, Republicans have been energized by the state’s competitive Republican gubernatorial primary –– and it could give Crafton a significant boost.

“Since I’m the Republican nominee in the general election, obviously I would hope that more Republicans vote than Democrats,” Crafton said. “But, I’m also seeking as many Democrat votes I can get because I don’t want this to be a race about partisanship. I want it to be about competence.”

If turnout on Election Day reflects early voting patterns –– and it often does –– a Smith victory would require a huge chunk of voters in the Republican primary to cross over and vote for a candidate with a “D” next to his name when it comes to the Juvenile Court clerk race.

“I think it concerns all Democratic candidates,” Smith said of the early voting numbers. “It seems that the Republicans have taken the lead in the numbers. All we can hope for is that the Democrats are waiting until Election Day to get out and vote.”

The Smith camp likely predicted the Republican-turnout factor could present a problem. Throughout the campaign, Smith has cited a group he calls “Republicans for David Smith.” Indeed, several notable Republicans have pledged their support for Smith, including former Metro Councilman Adam Dread.

And the early voting figures may not be entirely telling. There are likely some centrist Republican primary voters who, turned off by Crafton’s famed English-only drive, voted for Smith instead. And then there are Democrats who may be voting in the Republican primary so they can have a say on the lone competitive gubernatorial race.

“All you can do is keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best,” Smith said.

22 Comments on this post:

By: Photodeluxe on 7/30/10 at 2:49

I really hope someone like Eric Crafton is not elected to this or anything. He apparently does not like anyone who is not white or asians who speak english. The juvenile court is predominantly used by people who are not Aryans, so this may mean trouble.

By: pswindle on 7/30/10 at 2:53

Don't count the dems out, I haven't voted yet. I always vote on election day. It is scary to think of Eric, but the GOP always vote for their party. It doesn't matter who it is.

By: Photodeluxe on 7/30/10 at 3:04

The GOP doesn't always vote for the party, a whole lot of them voted for Obama. I think even Eric Crafton is too controversial for the smart Republicans. Especially those who want more companies to invest in Tennessee.

By: richgoose on 7/31/10 at 5:19

I can only hope that Eric Crafton is elected to any office for which he seeks.

By: dogmrb on 7/31/10 at 6:08

@$$goose: may you soon have to eat foie gras.

By: richgoose on 7/31/10 at 7:43

DOG......I suspect you may be right. We are raising the height of the walls and have a 24 hour patrol paid for by our neighborhood association to keep us safe from the reality of the majority of voters.

By: slzy on 7/31/10 at 9:59

foreign investors don't care about local politics,except for tax breaks and the like.

they invest to make money,not spread the milk of human kindness.

By: WickedTribe on 8/1/10 at 5:38

This article is so pointless. Considering there's only one candidate (or viable candidate if anyone else is actually running) in the Democratic governor primary, why would ANYONE vote in the Democratic primary? I'm a Democrat and I would vote in the Republican primary if I bother to vote this time, which I probably won't because there's nothing of significance to vote on.

And why would anyone vote politics for a court clerk anyone? That's not a political position and it doesn't matter a hill of beans if the person is a Democrat or a Republican.

By: govskeptic on 8/2/10 at 6:01

Republicans like "Adam Dread", give me a break! Adam Dread
belongs to the Adam Dread party only. You know, the one that
provides that taxpayers pay 75% of your medical insurance for life
after only serving a few months on the Council ! What a country.

By: Alphadog7 on 8/2/10 at 6:30

Wow surprised that all these partisan comments can politicize a court clerk position. If you don't like Crafton's politics, I would think you would want him to be a court clerk. Silly people, lighten up!

By: xhexx on 8/2/10 at 7:40

HAHAHAHA, companies that want to invest in TN couldn't care less who the juvi court clerk is.

Smith's big win over Lineweaver in the primary wasn't exactly a high bar to clear.

And referring to Dread as a Republican might have been the funniest thing I've read in all of this.

By: Anna3 on 8/2/10 at 9:19

Dread is a Republican! Wow! That's a laugh! I remember the local Republican Party being up in arms a few years ago when they couldn't get Adam Dread to give them the time of day after they tried to get him involved over and over thing they knew... he had purchased a table at the Dem's annual Jackson Day Dinner and showed up there...Dread sounds like an idiot to me...if he thinks folks are still buying the fact that he's a Republican. Dread's done nothing except pi$$ off everyone in both parties...n either side trusts him! Can you say Arlen Specter?

By: SRJ on 8/2/10 at 9:27

What Photo Deluxe was trying to say is that the bad publicity over Crafton's "English Only" fiasco was far reaching. I have friends in other states that knew about this. The 24 hour cable news stations took this issue to task. In other words, Eric Crafton does not make Nashville appear to be a friendly place to do business.

By: Captain Nemo on 8/2/10 at 9:44

If the Republican elect Eric Crafton then the GOP is in real bad shape. However I don’t see that many yard signs across the county to support him winning even with a good GOP turn out.

By: Anna3 on 8/2/10 at 9:55

Can you say "Tea Party"? You libs act as if you are the only people on the planet...Crafton is wildly popular with many, many folks in Davidson County. How do you account for the fact 36,000 people supported his English First initiative? Will you arrogantly call everyone with a differing view "Stupid" because your intellectual argument is so vacuous? Many people believe that Crafton is more forward in his thinking than the "Progressives" in the community.

By: Anna3 on 8/2/10 at 9:57

PS - Nemo....Crafton said he's spending his $ on TV, Radio, and mailing not yard signs last week while talking to the CP.

By: fishingbud on 8/2/10 at 10:47

Presentations of falsehoods reveal an inability to address the truth. “He apparently does not like anyone who is not white or asians who speak english” is an example of a blatant disregard for the truth or complete ignorance – take your pick. It is widely known that Eric Crafton is married to a Japanese lady that by the way also speaks English. Mr. Crafton in his candidacy for Juvenile Court Clerk has presented ideas to enhance the role of Juvenile
Court Clerk for the benefit of juveniles that the clerk is meant to serve. This shows forward thinking which would hopefully help juveniles make progress toward becoming good citizens. And shouldn’t this really be the goal? If we lose sight of that goal and just want to prevail for political purposes – then what are we to become? We have people giving up their lives for our freedoms and yet we won’t surrender an ideology.

By: fishingbud on 8/2/10 at 10:52

And by the way - a check of the how Adam Dread voted in the primary in May shows that he voted "D."

By: Vuenbelvue on 8/2/10 at 1:07

I am a democrat and I want to vote for the most qualified man in any race. This job should have nothing to do with politics but who is most qualified for a $110,000 job. Mr. Smith has no experience beyond working as a bailiff for a judge, no education and no management experience. He would in effect be given a raise from a job that probably pays in the $30's to a job three times higher and be trained by the employees how to do the job. Eric has a BS from Vanderbilt, Naval Officer experience, successful owner of his own company and is a multiterm councilman. What choice is there?

By: interest of point on 8/2/10 at 3:59

It’s very Good when it is believed in the diversity, the opportunity and the belief in a God by justice we them man and women of this beautiful county of Davidson are people of love, passion and voluntary by the others and that is what abounds in the heart of Mr. David Smith, in relation to Mr. Eric Crafton is appears unstable, people, impulsive in his single heart can live hatred and racism and that are not to be a God man, of compassion that we waited for of Mr. Eric Cratón perhaps as judge of the court would commit many injustices for thousands of families who fight with the treatment and educated theses children to if is than it is necessary to analyze well to that people we put in so important and delicate positions as is to be one judge courts, the correct candidate is David Smith
sorry but is the true

By: Anna3 on 8/2/10 at 10:34

That last comment by "Interest of Point?" says it all about Smith supporters....they can't make a cogent or succinct point.

By: Anna3 on 8/2/10 at 10:36

Interest of Point....Are you really Borat and planning to run the Juvenile Court Clerks office if your friend Smith wins?