Not a surprising event State Senator Tim Burchett announced his intent to seek the position of Knox County Mayor. While I like Tim Burchett and likely Knox County Mayor candidate Tim Hutchison. I was shocked by a statement attributed to Burchett on the NBC affiliate. “He said his mentor Ben Atchley helped teach him to reach across party lines.” Citing the name of Ben Atchley is not a positive, even in Republican circles. Let’s review. Atchley ran extensive radio commercial endorsements for Chad Tindell in May 2006. Tindell received less than 1 in 4 Republican voters votes over Jimmy Kyle Davis and the ultimate primary winner Judge Andy Jackson. In August 2006, Atchley appeared in direct mail pieces and robo calls for Gary Drinnen. Again less than 1 in 4 Republican voters voted for Drinnen over State Representative Stacey Campfield. Just a few weeks ago, Commission candidates Ruthie Kulhman, Don Sproles and Chuck Ward were endorsed by Atchley and they were unsuccessful. The effect of Atchley has reached comical proportions. Most Republicans look to see which way Atchley is going and they vote in the opposite direction.
Burchett has time to purge the name Atchley from his vocabulary in an effort to remain competitive in the County Mayor’s race.