To the editor:
In a recent letter to the editor, Mr. Jim Buchanan endorsed Thom Gray as his choice for Representative for the 4th District (Carter and Unicoi counties). At the end of his letter, Mr. Buchanan asks the question: “Why in the world would you not?”
I feel I have no choice but to respond to that question. While Mr. Buchanan uses many examples of reasons to support Mr. Gray, he fails to disclose that Thom Gray is running for both the Libertarian Party and the Republican Party. While the two parties share some conservative values, the Libertarian Party holds vastly different positions on marriage, pro-life issues, legalization of marijuana and military service. This is from the Libertarian convention’s platform: “Adopted in Convention, May 2012, Las Vegas, NVI.3 Personal Relationships — Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the government’s treatment of individuals, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships.”
While I certainly support Gray’s right to support these positions, regardless of his party affiliation, I feel he has been deceitful in not disclosing his connections and endorsements from the Libertarian Party: MARCH 29, 2012 — Thom’s FB Post — ‘I’ve just been informed that the Libertarian Party of Tennessee decided to endorse me for State Rep at its Convention last week!’
Apparently Gray’s affiliation with the Libertarians goes back to at least his first year in law school and he describes his Libertarianism on this website: http://www.zoominfo.com/#!search/profile/person?personId=644242660&targetid=profile.
As chairman of a county Republican group, Mr. Buchanan is prohibited from endorsing someone running on another party’s ticket. I cannot fault him for endorsing Thom Gray since Gray has apparently convinced many people that he is a “real Republican” — but for myself, there is no doubt that I cannot vote for someone whose loyalties are so divided. Our General Assembly will take up important issues in its next session and I want a proven conservative as my Representative in Nashville. Vote for Thom Gray — here is my answer to Buchanan’s question: Kent Williams is “why in the world” I will not.
Keith Tolley, Hampton