Washington County GOP backing Jim Smith?

Statement

By:  Jim Kitchens
Date: June 17, 2008
Location: Unknown


Washington County GOP backing Jim Smith?

I just have no idea where to start with this one.

In a previous blog post, I pointed out how Jim Smith's campaign was asking Republican leaders to set up campaign events, even though judicial races are strictly non-partisan.

Eleanor Barkhorn, a reporter for the Delta Democrat-Times, asked Smith about this charge during a stop he made in Greenville.

From her story:

"I'm unaware that I'm having any events sponsored by local Republicans," said Smith in an interview after the Sherman's luncheon.

That's a funny statement, considering the VERY NEXT PERSON Barkhorn interviewed was a gentleman named Brad Hathaway, who helped organize the event. (Did I mention that Hathaway is a member of the Washington County Republican Party?)

Here's Hathaway's comments:

"I was thrilled to see a good cross-section of the community," said Hathaway.

"The individuals who showed up to hear from Justice Smith were not there to represent any particular party."

Thankfully, Barkhorn did a head count during the luncheon. She counted approximately 20 attendees at the luncheon. Only one was black, and only three were women.

It makes me wonder exactly to what community Hathaway was referring. Because I'm not quite sure I'd call that a "good cross-section of the community" in Washington County.

Of course, my point here is not that Republicans are working to help elect Jim Smith. That's fine. I'm sure you might find one or two Democrats who are helping him as well. The point is this: He's using the Republican Party structure to run his campaign.

That can't be said of us. We have Democrats and Republicans working on staff here. We have Democrats and Republicans donating money to us. We have Democrats and Republicans offering to host events.

But one thing we're not doing: We're not reaching out to party structures and asking them to organize events, raise us money or go out and run our campaign. Smith's campaign undoubtedly — and in our opinion, undeniably — is doing just that with Republicans throughout the district.