The Tennessee Democrats have asked that people write-in a candidate of their choice rather than vote for the party's nominee to face Sen. Bob Corker, reports The Tennessean, and that's because the guy who won the Democratic primary, Mark Clayton, sounds ... let's just say not that mainstream. Clayton won the Thursday primary with 26 percent of the votes. Nevertheless, the Tennessee Democrats' statement cites his membership in a "known hate group in Washington, D.C.," by which The Tennessean's Michael Cass says they probably mean Public Advocate USA, (the same group of brilliant minds behind that unauthorized use of a gay couple's wedding photo in an anti-gay mailing this summer.) From their statement:
...the Tennessee Democratic Party disavows his candidacy, will not do anything to promote or support him in any way, and urges Democrats to write-in a candidate of their choice in November.
Mother Jones' Tim Murphy has an excellent round-up of some of Clayton's more fringey theories. To cite just one: On his campaign website, he worries that Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to amend The Constitution so he can "fulfill Hitler's superman scenario."
How did this guy manage to win? According to the Democratic party's statement, it's because his name was at the top:
Many Democrats in Tennessee knew nothing about any of the candidates in the race, so they voted for the person at the top of the ticket. Unfortunately, none of the other Democratic candidates were able to run the race needed to gain statewide visibility or support.
Unsurprisingly, election watchers like The Cook Report list the Tennessee Senate seat as pretty likely to stay in Republican hands.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.