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Kurita facing uphill battle
Jul 25, 2005 12:00 am
July 25, 2005
POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: State Sen. Rosalind Kurita is playing a subtle game by launching a package of ethics reforms for state government .
She is also running for federal office against the scion of a political family that has an elder member at the center of a statewide ethics scandal.
Yet, Kurita's late filing of her second quarter finance disclosure for her U.S. Senate Democratic primary bid against U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. is a less-than-subtle reminder she faces an uphill battle.
In a game of political chicken where money is what matters most, Kurita lost another round to Ford on the fund-raising front. And while the nurse from Clarksville is not really expected to keep up with Ford – a national political star for Democrats – she is at least expected to make a showing if she is going to prove she is in the race.
Kurita campaign staff released figures late Friday showing Kurita raised a scant $54,410 in the second quarter, compared to Ford's larger six-figure haul. Kurita's campaign managed to spend over $74,000, leaving them $221,133 cash on hand.
Kurita campaign manager Kimberly Wood said Kurita has been busy in her role as a state legislator until recently and not raising federal campaign dollars
"It's obvious the senator was doing her job as a state senator," Wood said. "She has not been able to devote herself to fund raising before session ended, but now she is."
Wood added the Kurita campaign had 15 different fund-raising events set up for the coming months.
Kurita's rather low fund-raising disclosure came on the heels of her State Senate office announcing a comprehensive ethics reform package. The Tennessee General Assembly is caught up in the federal Tennessee Waltz corruption probe, with five current or former legislators indicted on a variety of charges. The indicted include former State Sen. John Ford, Harold Ford Jr.'s uncle.
Would we call him doctor or mayor?
Dr. Robert Carver Bone turned the political calculus in Lebanon on its ear last week when he made a very surprise entry into the mayoral race.
Whether Bone will stay in the now four-man race to unseat incumbent Mayor Don Fox remains to be seen, but the turn of events came as a shock to many political observers.
The prognostication on the lips of many is that Fox may be hard-pressed to avoid a run-off if Bone stays in the race.
Though Bone himself is an empty slate politically having never run for office, he of course has a very political name. His brother, State Rep. Stratton Bone, has had his name on ballots for the past 30-plus years in Wilson County. Voters know the name.
In addition, another candidate in the race – former Superintendent of Schools Kip Puryear – is also a well-known name who a decade ago won a countywide race.
Throw in Ward 3 Councilman William Farmer and Fox may have a tough time getting to 50 percent plus one.