Senate District 26

Humphrey on Walley-Templeton matchup: Flip a coin

A welcome sight for those keeping a keen eye on the TNJ: On the Hill comment section this morning: Blog founder Tom Humphrey has waded in to give his two cents on the only open race for the state Senate.

Former Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton is squaring off against former state Rep. Page Walley for the Republican nomination to succeed state Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) in District 26.

Here’s Old Tom’s assessment of the race:

Knew Page Walley when he was a state rep and he was an honest, smart and amiable gentleman, striving to avoid fights whenever possible but willing to scrabble when things got testy. Do not know Templeton personally, but his reputation among those whose judgment I respect is that he is an honest, smart and amiable gentleman, striving to avoid fights whenever possible but willing to scrabble when things get testy.

Both, I suspect, are pretty much dead center moderates in the Bill Haslam/Lamar Alexander mode insofar as the GOP spectrum goes. In other words, you’ve got two peas in a pod. Either would represent the rural district as well, maybe better, than the average Senate district in our fair state represents its constituency.

Which makes the campaign a very interesting spectacle for those of us who enjoy politics as a spectator sport. It’s a game between their paid managers — Bob Davis versus Tommy Hopper, picking the two most prominent names. Both of those fellows are shrewd political operatives, absolutely willing to go negative if the polling situation warrants or to stay cool with warm fuzzy ads if not.

Prediction: Flip a coin. And, of course, money is a major matter.

Choosing sides in the Walley-Templeton state Senate race

Former state Rep. Page Walley and former Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton are assembling their campaign teams for this year’s only open state Senate race to succeed retiring Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville).

Walley is getting his campaign consulting from Bob Davis, a former state Republican Party chairman, and the Stoneridge Group. Templeton has enlisted another former state GOP chairman, Tommy Hopper, and consultant Layne Provine.

Former state Rep. Barrett Rich is backing Templeton, while retired Rep. Steve McDaniel is supporting Walley.

Senate District 26 comprises Chester, Decatur, Fayette, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, McNairy, and Henderson counties.

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