Dems Lose Potential Pick-Up

The Democrats had a rare chance to pick up a House seat this election, this one in West Knox County, the new 89th centered in Karns. Local attorney Shelley Breeding was a terrific candidate and if the four-way Republican primary becomes a dog fight, with former Sheriff Tim Hutchison winning, she had a chance to mobilize independents and Democrats and win. But the courts ruled she lives in Anderson County.

The case has sparked controversy since the Republicans control the Election Commission. But the final ruling was an appeals court panel of Democratic judges. The state Supreme Court declined to take up the case. Breeding has a Knox County address, but because of where her house sits her property taxes have been paid in Anderson County. The county line runs through the property.

The Democrats had until this past Saturday to nominate someone else, but the court battle took so long it was too difficult for anyone else to organize to run. Anyone who had started earlier as an alternative to Breeding would have been perceived as undermining her effort to get on the ballot.