BY KRISTEN BUCKLES
The Greene County Republican Women's Club is gearing up for the campaign season, with filing deadline having passed for the County General and State Primary elections in August.
During the club's monthly meeting, President Krystal Hawk called on those running to prepare a clean race and asked the Republican members to support the primary winner against any candidate.
"If you're a candidate, I expect you to join [as a sponsor of the women's club]. Period, end of discussion," she said on Monday.
Hawk explained that the club will vocally support all Republican candidates through the primary elections and financially support the Republican primary winners.
At the close of the meeting, she emphasized this point further without any specific reference to a particular person or incident. Hawk is the wife of State Rep. David Hawk, who is seeking re-election to the 5th District in a contested Republican primary.
"Everyone in this room has had a personal strife or a personal tragedy," she said. "We stand by each other. At the end of the day, we will stand behind whichever candidate [wins the Republican primary]. Be good mannered and be well respectful of all the candidates."
The speaker for the club's luncheon, Claire Crouch, state president for the Tennessee Federation of Republican Women, drove a similar point home as well.
"I don't care who it is, I'm for him," Crouch said in reference to the presidential race. "That's who I want -- the Republican."
At the state level, she called for the same support of any Republican candidate over a Democrat, even if the Democratic candidate is a good person.
"Once we have one good person standing, please make sure that's the person that can beat Eddie Yokley," she said in reference candidates for the 5th House District seat in the state legislature.
"He must not be underestimated," she said of Yokley. "He is a good man. He's a kind man, but he's a Democrat."
Crouch, who lives in Newport in Cocke County, called for the same unity behind the Republican primary winner in the 11th District seat, noting that Democratic primary candidate Marjorie Ramsey is also a good person but a "dyed-in-the-wool Democrat."
Crouch also shared with the club her opinions on upcoming legislation and issues that the Tennessee Federation for Republican Women have taken under consideration.
"We can handle all of this," she said. "We have been planning for it for a while. We can win all of these races. We can win and we must win and we will win."
The club will continue their monthly meetings with Republican candidates for the 5th District seat in the state House speaking in June, the 11th District candidates speaking in July, and U.S. Rep. Phil Roe speaking in August.