Hanging with Republicans on Dixie

I had quite an afternoon yesterday, and not all of it good. I am back to playing racquetball all the time after an injury. And remember I’ve been playing for 30 years. But I’d never done this — ran into the side wall tooth first, busting a chunk out of one of my front teeth, leaving me looking like, well, I don’t want to insult any group of people, but you know what I mean.

There were plenty of Republicans at Powers' event last night

Fortunately I have an appointment at Moore Smiles, just up the street, to see what it’s going to take to fix it.

But last  night I had an invitation to go to a political fund-raiser on Dixie Highway with a bunch of Republicans.  And that was something I didn’t want to miss. It’s an election year, and this was a fund-raiser for Gail Powers, who’s taking on Joni Jenkins in the 44th House District. She’s enthusiastic, that’s for sure, even if I don’t think she has much of a shot at knocking out Jenkins, a long-standing incumbent.

The speakers included Bill Vermillion, who ran for Lt. Governor with Bobbi Holsclaw (who was also there) in the last governor’s race. He emphasized his military background, and the importance of marriage, and guns and mostly espoused positions with which I personally disagree. I wasn’t sure how to react, so I tried to focus on watching the Louisville basketball team fall totally apart at Providence.

There were other speeches, including an upbeat one from Hilda Legg, who recently lost in a run for  Secretary of State. She, like most of the Republicans in the room, haven’t been able to win in elections. Brooks Wicker, who told me he’s planning to take on John Yarumuth this year, was there. So was Dan Seum, a hero to this crowd, the majority leader in the state Senate, who said he was definitely most likely not to run against Yarmuth, though he said he’d given it some consideration.

Also introduced was the host of the party, Chris Thieneman, who was responsible for my invite.  He ran for Metro Mayor, losing to Hal Heiner in the GOP primary last year.

One Republican who might have a chance at winning this fall is Bob Hueglin, who ran against his nemesis Bob Henderson in the Metro District 14 race last time. Bob told me he’s going to win this time and has already filed, though Henderson won’t be on the ballot. Instead, there’s a contested primary on the Dem side with Earl Yocum (Henderson’s chosen successor) and Joel Romines. Another Council candidate in the crowd was Rich Rosenberger, who wants to unseat Rick Blackwell in District 12.

That’s unlikely, and not just because few voters know who Rosenberger is. Only one incumbent running for re-election has ever lost (Doug Hawkins in 2008). And Blackwell doesn’t have a series of embarrassing public miscues on his record like Hawkins did. But the District 14 race will be worth watching, since it won’t be an incombent on the Dem side and Hueglin is at least known to voters.

The filing deadline is Jan. 31, so there’s a lot of people out there deciding whether or not to jump in.  What Republicans over on the south end have to figure out is how to get one of their own elected.