Our friend Wintermute has already fired up the Beverly Marrero bandwagon, and 24 hours ago, I was ready to concede that she would be the best candidate to face Republican Larry Parrish (he of "Deep throat" prosecution fame), the only Gooper to file for the seat.
After discussions with friends, it pains me to say she may not be the best option. As a Democratic progressive, she is untouchable, and she is a solid legislator with unquestioned integrity and is a delightful person who cares for her community.
However, as much as I personally appreciate her, I also realize that she is in the safest of Democratic districts, is not the hardest campaigner in the world, and will be hamstrung by the fact that, as a sitting legislator, she CANNOT raise money after the General Assembly session begins on January 9. Add to this the fact that she will be running in a district 2 1/2 to 3 times larger than her current district, and I am forced to come to the conclusion that, for the sake of the Party's chances in the general election, she needs to withdraw from the race.
It pains me to say this, because, if this were a normal election rather than a special election (where the fundraising problem would not apply), I would be cheering for her loudly.
Kevin Gallagher is a tough campaigner and he is already on the ground working the hell out of this district, and he would be just as progressive as Beverly. If he weren't, I sure as hell wouldn't be supporting him. He will raise the money that it takes to win, he will represent us proudly in Nashville, and he will not have the baggage that Robert Spence carries with him.
Frankly, given the investigations into corruption that are taking place in this town right now, we cannot afford to have Spence be our nominee. The Republicans are DESPERATE to win District 30, as it will enable them to force out John Wilder as our Lt. Governor and replace him with Ron Ramsey, killing ANY Democratic legislative agenda. If something were to blow up about Spence after he had won the primary, the Democrats would be screwed STATEWIDE. That simply cannot be an option.
You know, in your heart of hearts, if a Democrat like the Freedonian can find this stuff out, you can only imagine what the Goopers will be able to dig up.
This is why it is not in our best interests to have a three-way race for the Senate, which would enable a Spence victory, and thus a defeat in the general election. This is why I must respectfully, yet painfully, suggest that Beverly Marrero withdraw from the race; the future of the Democratic Party in Tennessee may well be at stake.
UPDATE: David Holt agrees!