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Beavers announces reelection bid early
Jun 24, 2004 12:00 am
State Sen. Mae Beavers, more than two years out, recently announced her intent to run for re-election in 2006 – a decision brought on by what Beavers said were forces within her own party already vying for the seat.
In an e-mail last week to local Republicans obtained by The Lebanon Democrat, Beavers said it had "come to (her) attention" that State Rep. Susan Lynn – a fellow West Wilson County Republican – and some of Lynn's campaign workers had told Beavers' supporters the state senator had no plans to run for re-election in 2006.
" … and furthermore that Susan Lynn had already picked someone to run for her (House) seat when she ran for my Senate seat. They have assumed that I am not running again because of my recent illness," Beavers wrote. "I write this e-mail to set the record straight on two issues: First, I have full intentions of running again for my seat in 2006. Second, I am upset that anyone would use my illness for their own political ambitions."
Beavers was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier in the year and has been receiving treatment.
Shortly after Beavers' message made its way to recipients, Lynn, too, sent out an e-mail in which she stated there was "not a shred of truth" to the allegations.
Instead, in a conversation with a Democrat reporter Monday, Lynn attributed the "rumor" to a rift in the local Republican Party.
"Over the two years that I've been in office, I have sensed that there are … definitely factions within the Republican Party in Wilson County, but they're not so well-defined that you can actually name a group," she said. "I have a feeling that there are just people who want to create a division between Sen. Beavers and myself, and the two of of us just cannot let that happen. We have to be a team for this county, a Republican team, a legislative team."
Beavers, who is scheduled to undergo her final chemotherapy treatment this week, said she was feeling "better than (she) had been" Monday. Her feelings regarding rumors of Lynn's alleged plans, however, were anything but good.
The longtime politician explained she had received "numerous" phone calls from supporters regarding the issue, fueling her decision to address it.
"I had phone calls as late as last week that (Lynn's) people were telling everybody that I wasn't going to run. I've even heard that some people in Putnam County were told by someone that I was terminally ill," Beavers remarked.
Stressing she has no plans to seek Beavers' 17th District Senate seat, Lynn explained she had discussed the issue with Beavers after the flurry of e-mails last week. Still, when she inquired as to the identities of those who had contacted the state senator, Lynn said Beavers declined to reveal them.
"I would like to know who it is. I talked to my volunteers, and they were shocked – hurt, even – because they've worked with Sen. Beavers, too. They've worked so hard for her, and they would not plot against her," Lynn said, noting she believed the situation had been amicably resolved.
Lynn also pointed to the 1998 and 2000 elections, during which she worked for Beavers' campaigns. She added she also pushed the entire GOP ticket during her own bid for state office in 2002.
Still, Beavers said she did not believe the matter had been properly addressed Monday.
"(Lynn) said all of her volunteers said they hadn't said that, but I have a witness. I did not name (the witness) to her … I told her that I've been hearing this for months – that they've been telling people I'm not going to run again," Beavers said. "I talked to people at the legislature (Monday) morning who said they had heard it. So, no, I don't think it was resolved amicably.
" … I believe my people, and I've even had some of them tell me to use their names. But I haven't done that," she continued. "I just don't like people telling people I'm not going to run again when I have never said that. I think they're taking advantage of my illness."
And while Lynn conceded she would have liked for Beavers to approach her with the concerns before sending the e-mail message, she said she "holds no ill will" toward Beavers' correspondence with local Republicans.
"I have always said (Beavers) is the only one, the only Republican who could have ever won that district – I have always said that," Lynn said. "I honestly don't think I could win that district. I literally still pinch myself every day because I can't believe that I actually won the last time, and I'm really not so vain to think that I could move up into that position. I'm not. I'm just not."
Staff Writer Brian Harville can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 16 or by e-mail at email@example.com.