KNOXVILLE – When the votes are counted on Thursday, Tennessee Democrats will have made a choice to take a step forward or take two steps back. The two leading contenders in the United States Senate race are Terry Adams and Gordon Ball. The two couldn’t be more different.
Ball, 65, is mostly known for his past support and endorsements of Republicans Bill Haslam and Lamar Alexander. Ball’s past endorsement of Alexander makes it very unlikely that he will give the current Senator much competition in November.
Adams, 44, is a fresh face in the Democratic Party. A navy veteran and small business owner, Adams burst onto the scene in this race with fiery stump speeches and tireless campaigning. Party loyalist signed on quickly and the rank and file ballooned his Facebook page to more than 10,000 followers. His appearance at Tennessee Moral Monday’s rallies in support of Medicaid expansion and raising the minimum wage further inspired a Democratic base that has long been ignored.
Adams also earned the endorsements of the Chattanooga Times Free Press who said, “Terry Adams best bet for Democrats to oppose Alexander.” And the Knoxville News Sentinel who said, “We endorse Adams, who puts the economy, veterans, and energy policy at the top of his agenda.”
Former Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Bob Tuke said, “Terry Adams is making a real difference in Tennessee: fighting for Veterans, fighting to Increase the Minimum Wage, fighting Wall Street corruption, & fighting “Big Money” in politics. He is the best choice for Tennessee.”
The consensus is that Adams will mount a serious challenge to Lamar Alexander and offers a compelling future for the Democratic Party in Tennessee. Ball offers a Republican-like Democratic nominee with little chance to inspire the base or defeat Alexander.
Adams said, “We will not beat Republicans in the south by being more like Republicans. We will win by being better Democrats.” Adams has made it known that his fight is with Wall Street corruption, “Big Money” in politics, and a system that is destroying the middle class.
We don’t know what the future holds for Thursday but it is clear that Adams is exactly what a Democrat ought to be and would certainly be a step forward for the Tennessee Democratic Party.