Matlock radio ad cites Burchett vote for Democrat as state Senate speaker, asks if he’d vote for Nancy Pelosi as U.S. House speaker

A radio ad unveiled today by state Rep. Jimmy Matlock’s campaign notes his leading opponent in the Republican 2nd Congressional District primary, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, voted as a state senator for the election of a Democrat as speaker of the Tennessee Senate and questions whether he would vote for Democrat Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the U.S. House. Here’s the Matlock campaign press release plus a  note on the referenced vote.

Press release from Jimmy Matlock campaign

(Lenoir City, TN) – The Matlock for Congress Campaign released its second radio ad Tuesday, titled “Trust”. The 60-second ad will run on stations across Tennessee’s Second Congressional District.

“This is a serious race about serious issues, and there is just too much at stake to send more career politicians to Washington who we cannot trust to have President Trump’s back,” said small businessman Jimmy Matlock. “The great people of East Tennessee know my values and my conservative credentials, and they know I am the only candidate in this race who can be trusted to help President Trump and Republicans in Congress drain the swamp.”

(Text of) “Trust”

Voice-over (VO):  Can conservatives really trust career politician Tim Burchett?

VO:  When he was a state Senator, he voted to make a Democrat speaker of the Senate.

VO:  Burchett even supported a sales tax increase.

VO:  Voting for Democrats and tax hikes? That doesn’t sound conservative…

VO: If Tim Burchett is elected to Congress, will he vote for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker?

VO: East Tennessee needs a conservative we can trust in Congress, like Jimmy Matlock.

VO: He’s the Trump guy. Matlock’s family has operated a small business in our community for over 60 years.

VO: He lives our East Tennessee values: Faith, firearms, and the sanctity of life.

VO: Matlock supports President Trump’s plan to build the wall, and he’ll vote to defund Planned Parenthood.

VO: Matlock is the conservative we can trust.

Jimmy Matlock: I’m Jimmy Matlock. I’ve Spent the last 47 years changing your family’s tires. Now, I need your help changing Washington. I’m Jimmy Matlock and I approve this message.

VO: Paid for by Jimmy Matlock for Congress.

Historical Note: The referenced Burchett vote came in the state Senate’s election of a speaker/lieutenant governor in 2005 when he and another Republican senator, Michael Williams of Maynardville, joined all Senate Democrats to reelect John Wilder to the position that the West Tennessee Democrat had held since 1971.  Wilder had typically enjoyed unanimous support from Republican state senators for speaker at a time when Democrats controlled the state legislature – most notably in 1987 when majority Democrats decided to give Wilder the boot and he was nominated by Republicans for another term. Wilder won that one when a couple of dissident Democrats split from the majority of the party’s members and joined the Republicans. Wilder finally lost in 2007 – to Republican Ron Ramsey – when then-Sen. Rosalind Kurita stunned fellow Democrats by backing Ramsey. (Votes were cast in alphabetical order of the senators’ last names and Burchett voted for Ramsey before the surprise Kurita vote; Williams, who had been widely expected to back Wilder over Ramsey and thus cast the decisive ballot in a closely-divided Senate, voted for Ramsey after the Kurita defection from Democrats assured Ramsey would win.)

Williams, who declared himself an independent after the 2007 vote, narrowly lost a bid for reelection to the Senate the following year to a Republican. He subsequently was elected Union County mayor and, again affiliated with the GOP,  now is giving up that position to challenge in the GOP primary state Rep. Jerry Sexton’s nomination to a new term in House District 35.

As an aged political junkie/reporter who watched all those past proceedings, the ad seems a clever exploitation of old historical fact into the present political environment for campaign gain – without regard, of course, to the way things were way back then. Which is to say that voting for Wilder at the time was not really comparable to voting for Pelosi today.

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