On House District 96, McManus (R) vs. Thompson (D)

A “test case” for the possibility of Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy having a negative impact on down-ballot contests for state legislative seats may be the race in House District 96, according to Jackson Baker. There, incumbent Rep. Steve McManus faces underdog Democrat Dwayne Thompson.

The district, a suburban one incorporating parts of Cordova and Germantown, is considered safely Republican by most observers.

Thompson, a self-described “human resources professional,” disputes that, citing what he says are significant turnouts for Democrats in past statewide and presidential races in the district, as well as  a mix of upscale, middle-class, and working-class populations that he thinks is ready for change.

Among other things, Thompson hopes for a backlash against legislative Republicans for their opposition to Governor Bill Haslam’s Insure Tennessee proposal for Medicaid expansion. At a recent forum sponsored by the Tennessee Nurses Association, Thompson accused opponent McManus, an investment counselor and chairman of the House Insurance and Banking Committee, of having “bottled up” consideration of Insure Tennessee in the special legislative session of 2015.

… McManus has more financial resources at his command, by far — $155,7543.59 in campaign cash as of the third-quarter filing, compared to a mere $5,088.20 for Thompson. But Thompson, whose ads — stressing that he is both a veteran and a cancer survivor — have begun to appear here and there, especially online, with a frequency unusual for a Democrat running in the Memphis suburbs.

And, in fact, Thompson’s campaign expenditures for the third quarter of 2016 come close to matching McManus’, with outlays of $9,524.83, compared to $11,871.61 for the incumbent. He is also working hard at outreach to independent voters, like members of the nonpartisan Asian-Americans for Tennessee, who showed up en masse last week at a meet-and-greet for Thompson sponsored by state Representative Raumesh Akbari (D-District 91) at her family’s hair research facilities in East Memphis.

One Response to On House District 96, McManus (R) vs. Thompson (D)

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    Memphis Political Observer says:

    Jackson Baker, self described “journalist,” points out some facts but leaves out important details, including the demographic changes in the district, its higher performing numbers for Democrats in recent years, and McManus’s inattention to campaigning and to constituent services.

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