When Betty Bean asked Mayoral Candidate Mark Padgett this week about endorsements by four white guys. Now, remember it was Ivan Harmon, Joe Hultquist and Bo Bennet all runners up in the Mayor’s race. Also Sheriff Jimmy “J.J’ Jones who is a man.
It took some of us back 21 years. Let me set the stage for you. May 1990, three females were on County Commission, Wanda Moody in the third district seat a, Bee Deselm in the fourth District seat a and Mary Lou Horner in the seventh district seat a.
Sandra Clark along with Betty Bean and the three female Commissioners recruited three other females to run for office. They recruited a liberal Democrat in Madeline Rogero for the second district seat a position. The incumbent was a Republican Jesse Cawood. In the fifth district seat b seat they recruited a Republican in Sandy Brown to challenge Incumbent Frank Luethold. It was a three way race as businessman Bill Slayden also was a candidate. In the eighth district seat a 23 year Republican incumbent Joe McMillian was targeted with a green farmer Connie Whitehead. Also in the race was 23 year old businessman Brian Hornback.
So what happened? In the second district, Incumbent Cawood received 847 votes in besting Challenger Bob Whetsel who received 630 votes. Liberal Madeline received 606 votes to Democrat candidate Red Williams 136. In August Liberal Madeline went on to beat the Incumbent Cawood in the General election.
In the fifth district seat b race, Republican Incumbent Frank Luethold received 1910 votes, businessman Bill Slayden received 930 votes and the female ticket candidate Sandy Brown came in a distant third with 701 votes.
In the eighth district seat a race 23 year incumbent Joe McMillian won the primary with 942 votes, 23 year old businessman Brian Hornback received 841 votes and the female ticket candidate Connie Whitehead received 708 votes. McMillian went on to win in August defeating Democrat Challenger Vince Neeley.
Interesting to note that the 1990 election also brought Sheriff Tim Hutchison to the Courthouse in defeating 8 year incumbent Democrat Joe Fowler. Mike Padgett was re-elected to the position of Knox County Clerk. Also, Mike Ragsdale was elected to the County Commission fifth district seat a seat in defeating Incumbent Hassell Evans. Making Ragsdale and Rogero rookie classmates in the 1990 class on first term Commissioners.
So Liberal Madeline is the only success the female ticket had back 20 plus years ago and they are still holding on to her. As far as Sandy Brown and Connie Whitehead as soon as they came in third in their respective races, they were discarded never to be heard from again.