Herron: Election about 'character', not Obama-Pelosi

Democratic nominee Roy Herron is not relenting on his attacks against his 8th Congressional District opponent, Republican nominee and Crockett County farmer Stephen Fincher. Much of the last two months of the campaign have seen Fincher and his supporters pushing Fincher to participate in debates, to disclose his tax returns and other details of his personal finances and to explain the details of what Herron calls a "mysterious" $250,000 loan that has prompted federal election authorities to investigate.

Herron was in Memphis Monday during a two-day tour in which he will touch all 19 counties in the 8th District. Fincher, who has largely avoided one on one dialog with reporters, was in Dyersburg, Union City and Milan on Monday and will be in Crockett County, Martin and Jackson on Tuesday.

Herron said he believes many more election-day voters -- people who have not cast votes in early voting -- are predisposed to him than Fincher, but the key is making sure they get to the polls. Herron said his campaign made 11,000 phone calls over the weekend, and would be "calling and hauling" to make sure anyone who is a Herron supporter becomes a Herron voter. Herron's closing with voters basically goes like this:

The fundamental issue in the campaign comes down character. I've been open and honest with the people and I'll be open and honest enough to represent them. My opponent is dependent upon the Washington lobbyists and special interest groups with more than two-thirds of the money spent on his behalf. He's beholden to them and can't be independent to represent the people of this district. He hasn't been open with the people when he has refused to debate, refused to release his tax returns, refused to answer questions from the people or the press. When his most recent meetings have been closed to the public and invitation only.

Ultimately when one candidate is being open and honest and independent and the other is not, the people are going to decide the issue on character and decide I am the person that will fight for them and work for them.
Normally, this is where we would include the opponent's response, but Fincher's spokesman declined the opportunity to respond to attacks. And Fincher has not been made available. Herron gives out his cell phone number to the press and at campaign events and literally every time he is in Memphis, calls members of the media personally to ask them if they have any questions for him. Which is not to say that's something for a voter to consider; clearly, other issues should trump how a candidate deals with the media, but it is to say that if Herron's side of the story gets out more in the media, there is a reason.

On the major issues, Fincher and Herron actually are not far apart. Both say they want to create more jobs but also want to reduce federal government spending. Both say they would vote against Nancy Pelosi as House speaker. Both are pro-life, support the National Rifle Association, have deep ties to the farm economy. Which is why Herron believes -- hopes -- voters will look past partisan labels in making their choice.

Most people in the 8th District are neither Democrats or Republicans. They are independents and will make their own independent decisions about who can best represent them.

The people of the 8th District even if they do have a party affiliation are pretty doggoned independent. The Democrats in the 8th District are Tennessee Democrats, not necessarily national in their affiliation. They believe in fiscal responsibility and helping the middle class and the working people. Those are my beliefs, those are my values, those are the values of the 8th District, whether you are a D or an R or an Independent, and I think the independent-thinking people of the 8th District will make their own independent decision.

Finally, Herron said he believes what few 8th District polls have been released are insufficient measures of voter sentiment. The 8th, he said, is far too spread out, too diverse for a 300-person poll to have the final word on whether the race is competitive. However, Herron's own national party apparatus abandoned him, based on their determination of his chances. Here's Herron on why he still believes he can win:

The people of the 8th District are telling me we can win this election, and that it really turns on turnout. The fact that somebody in Washington, D.C., who is hundreds of miles away thinks this election's over shows how little they know about it.

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