State Rep. Mathew Hill, R-Jonesborough, committed a cardinal sin last session. He agreed to vote for a bill favored by the speakers of both houses of the legislature but changed his mind at the last minute and scuttled it.
It was the wine-in-grocery stores bill.
Hill, a religious broadcaster, now has an opponent in the Republican primary, and most political observers do not think it is a coincidence. His district includes Washington County, and he is being opposed by former Johnson City Commissioner Phil Carriger, who cites his business experience. Hill's district is also near the headquarters of Food City, in Abingdon, Va., one of the lead lobbying firms for the wine-in-grocery stores bill. His district is also adjacent to Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey's Senate district; Ramsey had promised that the bill would pass last session.