The race is not on the ballot until 2010, but already there is an active candidate trying to oust Juvenile Court Clerk Vic Lineweaver.
He's David Smith, a Court Officer for Metro General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland. Smith is no political novice. He's already handing out business cards announcing his candidacy and the card seems to indicate he has already filed the papers and formed the committee necessary to start collecting contributions for his campaign. There also seems to be a campaign web site under development. Here's a final example of David Smith's political background: his father is Mack Smith, a controversial, long time Democratic political activist and Goodlettsville liquor store owner.
But the question is will Smith or any candidate get a one-on-one shot at Lineweaver? The incumbent has had more than his share of critics during his time in office, even being arrested briefly by juvenile court officials when his office could not produce some needed records. He's also recently been the subject of wide ridicule at the Metro Courthouse when he was caught on camera telling a TV reporter he was busy in a meeting when he was actually at home in his bathrobe walking out to get the morning paper (in the middle of the day).
But Lineweaver is a tireless and effective campaigner. He shows up everywhere and seems to have great personal charm with the voters. So much so, he's managed to find a way get re-elected several times, usually prevailing in a crowded field of rival candidates. Actually, since the race for Juvenile Court Clerk does not require a runoff to ensure whoever is elected is the choice of the majority of voters, a crowded field is a benefit to an incumbent like Lineweaver and it could be again in 2010.
There are rumblings of other candidates interested in jumping in to join Smith and Lineweaver, including Metro Councilman Michael Craddock. If he runs, Craddock may have a big decision to make. It is no secret Craddock is a Republican in his politics (although his Council post is held without any party affiliation). So does Craddock run under the GOP label and get a clear shot at Lineweaver (or whoever is the Democratic nominee) in the general election in August, 2010? Republicans never run well for local offices in this county and the "yellow dog Democrat" factor would definitely hurt Craddock and help Lineweaver or whoever runs under the Democratic Party banner. Or does Craddock jump into the race as a Democrat, crowding a field that could have even more candidates than just Lineweaver and Smith opposing him? And won't a crowded field again tend to help an incumbent like Vice Lineweaver?
NewsChannel 5 thanks Pat Nolan for providing this column every week. Mr. Nolan's commentary reflects his own opinions, not those of the NewsChannel 5 Network.Comments about Capitol View should be sent to Pat Nolan directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.