Feb 16 2009
11:31 pm
By: Sandra Clark

Weird events at Halls Republican Club tonight.

Andrew Graybeal showed up and sat in the back corner.

Former county chair Gerald Turner called him out, challenging him as a Democrat basically to sign a loyalty oath or leave the meeting.

Graybeal said he had resigned in writing from the Democratic Party last month and wanted to be welcomed into the GOP. He received tepid applause.

Later Turner jumped on the Republican county commissioners (present were R. Larry, Dave Wright and Michele Carringer) for electing Democrats rather than Republicans. Republicans hold a 15-4 majority on the commission.

Turner said Tank Strickland is a "nice guy," but "he's a Democrat." He also alluded to the recent selection of Mark Brown as a judicial commissioner.

Former commissioner Scott Moore won a door prize from Ted Hatfield -- a script in English of Slumdog Millionaire. Someone in the back (not Graybeal) yelled, "Who says there's no justice!"

Club president Wally Welch ended the meeting with a joke: Seems he had discovered a classified ad selling a tractor with no seat or steering wheel.

"It's for people who have lost their ass and don't have a clue which way to turn," he said. "Congress."

Gotta love the Halls Republicans. -- s.

Bbeanster's picture

Gotta love the Halls

Gotta love the Halls Republicans.

Sez who?

WhitesCreek's picture

My experience with loyalty

My experience with loyalty oaths is that any group that requires one doesn't deserve loyalty. I signed one a long time ago swearing that I wasn't a member of the communist party. Made me curious about communism and cautious about my employer.

To a disloyal person, a piece of paper is meaningless except as evidence in a lawsuit.

Nobody's picture


Well it was just a matter of time for Graybeal to see his own true colors. I wonder how much money he will return to the Democrat contributors. I hope the Democratic Party of Knox County gets word to all of the community Democrat clubs so they know not to keep contributing to his cause.

Nobody's picture

Can't Wait

I can't wait to see R. Larry and Andrew Graybeal duke it out for the comission seat in the 7th.

Bbeanster's picture

If that's the competition,

If that's the competition, James McMillan wins in a walk.

Nobody's picture

Maybe a few more

There might be a few more folks follow Andrew's lead and go to the darkside where they belonged long ago.

ANGRYWOLF's picture

Graybeal did it obviously

because he's tired of losing elections and feels only as a repub here can he win one.
Dancing with the devil might get him elected but it would cost him his soul...
However..some people don't care about those things.

knoxrebel's picture

Graybeal was never a Democrat

Graybeal sent me an email after the August general election because he was upset about something I had been quoted as saying about the election. It was out of frustration, I'm sure (nobody likes to lose), but he was upset about the help he received from the Party. My response was that I had known for sometime that he had never voted in a Democratic Primary in his life, that he was merely being opportunistic because the Property Assessor's race was one where no other Dem would run last year, so he went straight to the General Election as the Dem nominee, and that he was mainly recruited to run by a few disaffected Republicans. I told him I'd be glad to send him a copy of his voting record and his VoteBuilder file (the TNDP's voter file) which had him listed as a "strong Republican." Never heard back from him.

Graybeal was merely an opportunist. His background is real estate, so he naturally was interested in the Assessor's job, but he didn't have the guts to run against Ballard in the GOP primary. So, he latched onto a few Dems and did everything he could to deceive them and voters that he was a Democrat. I have a few (maybe more) regrets about my abbreviated term as Party Chair, and one of them was failing to recruit someone to take Graybeal on in the primary or even "outing" him. But I just felt that wasn't the right thing to do, as we were making an effort to expand our base. I asked the TNDP about it. There's really nothing the local parties can do in such cases, except ask for loyalty oaths. But they're not worth the paper on which they're written. I'm glad he is gone. The GOP in the 7th won't welcome him.

Gregg Lonas's picture

Good bye

Good bye Andrew!

bill young's picture


You did the right thing.No reason to beat Graybeal up.I always thought the hill was too step for him to climb & that proved to be right.

knoxrebel's picture

Thanks, Bill

Appreciate the sentiment, Bill. It was a tough call and the pressure was on to do something. Graybeal kept appearing at Dem functions and clubs touting his Dem "credentials" and many of us just had to bite our tongues. But you are right . . . he didn't have a chance. Other than Amy, Finbarr and Sam - we just got steamrolled by (1) the GOP machine and (2) the overwhelming sense that the "crisis" of local gov't was over on the night of the February 5 primary after 90,000+ showed up to "kick the rascals out."

bill young's picture

Sam,Amy & Finbarr

These are all 6 year county commission seats & we have got to win all 3 in 2010.

If anybody's got some loose change out there & wants to send it to a Democrat please send it Sam,Amy or Finbarr's way.

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