In today’s Elizabethton Star, a letter to the editor from Dale Ford in support of Kent Williams appeared. While I’m not surprised at the good ol’ boy camaraderie, I was a little shocked by the battle lines being so clearly drawn this early in the game.

I’m appalled about some of the things regarding Representative Kent Williams that Jerome Cochran said in his announcement to oppose Rep. Williams. Nothing could be further from the truth and most of it was an out and out lie. Kent has accomplished more for Carter County in one and a half years than his predecessor did in four. I would like to set the record straight. I work every day, shoulder to shoulder, with Kent and know how he votes and where he stands on the issues.
Kent is pro-life to the point that he helped secure a grant for $18,000 to the Abortion Alternative Women’s Center in Elizabethton. He has hosted fundraisers and he personally donates money to Right-to-Life and the Elizabethton Center. He was greatly opposed to the money in the budget for Planned Parenthood.
Kent and I are both adamantly OPPOSED to any state income tax.
Kent Williams proved with his very first vote his willingness to mend fences in Nashville regardless of party affiliation in order to improve Carter County’s relationship. As promised, he put the people of Carter County first. Speaker Naifeh has helped me with several issues for Washington County and has never asked for anything in return.
I agree this election is the future of Carter County and the best thing that ever happened to Carter County was when Kent Williams was elected in 2006.

Now, I certainly won’t hold it against Rep. Ford for expressing his opinion (goodness knows I’m a fan of expressing opinion!), but I am curious about the confusion from which Ford suffered when reading Cochran’s election announcement. Allow me to elaborate:

Ford says, “Kent is pro-life…” Well, that may be, but, as Cochran points out in his announcement, he did vote for a pro-abortion speaker of the House in Jimmy Naifeh.

Ford says, “Kent and I are both adamantly OPPOSED to any state income tax.” Although Cochran mentioned Williams’ vote in favor of the third largest tax increase in Tennessee history, despite a budget surplus, I saw no mention of an income tax. I’m thrilled Ford and Williams are opposed to an income tax, but I want them to be opposed to other taxes and tax increases, as well.

Ford says, “Kent Williams proved with his very first vote his willingness to mend fences in Nashville regardless of party affiliation in order to improve Carter County’s relationship.” I can’t speak for Cochran, but I’m not so concerned with party affiliation as I am with ideology. I will not vote for someone who is pro-choice, pro-higher taxes, and pro-big government – be that a Republican or a Democrat. I expect the same out of all those who claim to be conservative.

I’m not quite sure what part of Cochran’s announcement was a lie. It would appear the facts were simply not spun in a way that Ford and Williams appreciate.

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