Election Day is a mere formality in the Republican primary battle to represent the 27th District in the state house. It is expected that Richard Floyd, the three-term incumbent, will win handily over perennial candidate Basil Marceaux. Since the district is carefully carved to avoid Democrat strongholds, Floyd's anticipated victory on Aug. 2 will pave the way for a cakewalk against Democrat Frank Eaton in November.
District 27 encompasses roughly the western third of the Hamilton County - including Red Bank, Signal Mountain, Soddy-Daisy and most everything else west of U.S. 27. In many ways, Floyd couldn't be more representative of that conservative district. The 68-year old is retired from the Coca-Cola Bottling Company and is very active in church and community service endeavors.
Marceaux, by contrast, is nothing if not unique. The self-proclaimed "superstar" rose to viral video fame as a result of an interview during his failed gubernatorial bid two years ago when, after introducing himself as "Basil Marceaux dot com," he proclaimed, "if you kill someone, no, you get murdered or you go to jail." That clip, from a local Nashville newscast, has garnered nearly two million hits on YouTube.
Floyd, for his part, has done little to distinguish himself in Nashville. He is considered a reliable backbench vote by GOP officials and a knowledgeable leader on environmental and conservation issues. The closest Floyd has come to making national news - something Marceaux seems to do at will - was when he commented on his bill requiring transgender individuals to use public bathrooms and dressing rooms that match their birth gender.
The state representative stated that if he saw any transgender person trying to enter rest room or dressing room where his wife or daughters were, "I'd just try to stomp a mudhole in him and then stomp him dry."
Hopefully Floyd has since learned that threatening to brutally kill a transgender person for trying to use the bathroom isn't a very effective method to defend a bill that was already considered closed-minded by many.
As deplorable and reprehensible as Floyd's comment was, it almost pales in comparison to Marceaux's plan to make his voice heard in Nashville. When asked what his first act would be if elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives, Marceaux responded, "I think I'm gonna do a hostile takeover" of state government.
The idea of Basil Marceaux taking matters into his own hands at the State Capitol is, in itself, enough to cause this page to endorse Richard Floyd.
Still, Marceaux's impassioned commitment to the issues he cares about - from stopping the display of gold-fringed American flags, which he views as illegal, to making the public aware of the argument that Tennessee laws prevent local governments from charging people with state crimes - makes us glad that he's still on the scene. And on the ballot.
Rep. Floyd certainly makes occasional missteps. Aside from his hateful comments about transgender individuals, he has voted for more spending than many of his Republican counterparts. He is also unwilling to pledge that he will refuse to vote for tax increases.
In general, however, Floyd's stances are rooted in fiscally conservative, limited government principles. He has done nothing to indicate that he won't continue to protect those free market values again in Nashville. As a result, we encourage residents of the 27th state house district to vote for Richard Floyd in the Republican primary and, ultimately, return him to the Tennessee General Assembly.