Letter: Premature Democrat

I read with interest the story in last Thursday's Metro Pulse that introduced your readers to a candidate who intends to oppose the re-election of Sen. Stacey Campfield in 2014. ["Early Starter," Citybeat by Paige Huntoon, Nov. 29, 2012] The article reported that because Mr. Stevens couldn't gain the Knox County Republican Party chairperson's assent to his plan, Mr. Stevens will become a Democrat in order to oppose Sen. Campfield.

Your reporter might have had the curiosity to research what Mr. Stevens needed to do to be the Democratic candidate for Sen. Campfield's seat but she neglected to report on what it would take for that to actually happen. I believe your reporter should have reported that Mr. Stevens is premature in his assertion that he will be able to challenge Sen. Campfield as the Democratic candidate.

Mr. Stevens cannot simply declare himself the Democratic candidate for any office elective office, including the office held by Sen. Campfield. He first must file a petition with the appropriate number of qualified signatures with the Knox County Election Commission to be placed on the primary ballot in 2014 for the office he is seeking. Then, he will need to appoint his treasurer so that he can legally seek financial contributions to his campaign. Finally, he must run and win in the Democratic primary against other Democratic candidates before the Knox County Election Commission will place Mr. Stevens on the general election ballot as the Democratic candidate for Sen. Campfield's seat. Simply stated it would have been more accurate to report that Mr. Stevens is launching his campaign for the Democratic Party nomination to oppose Sen. Campfield.

There will be others besides Mr. Stevens who will seek the nomination of the Democratic voters in Sen. Campfield's senatorial district in the 2014 Democratic primary. Mr. Stevens cannot be the Democratic candidate to oppose Senator Campfield until he has won the 2014 Democratic primary.

Douglas E. Veum, Vice Chair

Knox County Democratic Party

Ed. Note: The article did not report that "Mr. Stevens couldn't gain the Knox County Republican Party chairperson's assent to his plan." It did quote Knox County GOP Chairwoman Phyllis Severance on what she thought about Mr. Stevens' early entry as a candidate.