By MARK COOK
The Williamson Business PAC today announced that they were withdrawing their endorsement of Anne McGraw for the County Commission District Four seat.
In a post on the PAC’s Facebook page, the group cited the controversy over McGraw’s voting in the Republican primary on May 2. She is the only Democrat in the District 4 race.
“In early April, the PAC endorsed Anne McGraw in her race for District 4 County Commissioner. Since that endorsement, Mrs. McGraw, who had qualified to run as a candidate in one party, voted in the primary of the opposing party, thus precluding her from casting a vote for herself. While the PAC takes no position on the legality of this matter, we feel that action reflects an error in judgment and a lack of respect for the election process.”
“Our greatest asset is the confidence of voters who give weight to our endorsements when casting their vote. Accordingly, and regretfully, we hereby withdraw our endorsement of Mrs. McGraw.”
McGraw, a member of the county School Board, and Bill Peach, a longtime member of both the Franklin Special and Williamson County school boards, were called out shortly after the primary for having voted on the Republican ballot. While Tennessee does not require party affiliation in voter registration, the law says that primary voters should be “bona fide” members, or intended members of the party whose ballot they select. Because McGraw and Peach, who is running for Tennessee House District 63, were on the ballot as Democrats, the Election Commission sought the District Attorney’s opinion on whether they had violated the law.
Kim Helper, District Attorney, sought an outside review of the charges given her familiarity with the parties involved. That review is pending.
Mark Cleveland, vice chairman of the Williamson County Business PAC, said McGraw’s endorsement was the first the political action committee had ever withdrawn.
“It shows that we pay attention,” he said. “It shows that it is not just a one and done.”
McGraw on Thursday afternoon said she had no comment.