Craig Fitzhugh Waits A Week To Endorse Karl Dean After Getting Crushed In Primary

Craig Fitzhugh, Karl Dean

State Rep. Craig Fitzhugh on Friday endorsed Karl Dean, the candidate who crushed him in the Democratic primary for the governor’s race last week, trying to show they are now best buds.

Former Nashville Mayor Dean took 75.1 percent of the vote to the outgoing Democratic House minority leader’s 19.5 percent, Ballotpedia reported.

Fitzhugh (D-TN-82) must have decided one week and one day was enough time to heal all wounds, as he tweeted his endorsement on Friday: “I’m all in for @KarlFDean and you should be, too. For more #jobs, higher wages, for #educators & #MedicaidExpansion—there’s only one choice. #TeamDean

A Republican leader pointed out the brittle Democratic coalition.

Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden said in a statement, “More than a week after the primary elections, Tennessee Democrats have just now managed to get their two candidates on the same stage. Their delay stands in stark contrast to the quick unity shown by the Republican party, where all four of gubernatorial candidates came together in a strong show of support for Bill Lee just two days after his nomination. While Dean and Fitzhugh scramble to bring their supporters together, Bill Lee continues to energize Tennesseans from all walks of life with his positive message of leadership over politics.”

For his part, Dean tweeted about Fitzhugh, “‘He has my support and I implore you to give him yours.’ Thank you @craigfitzhugh for your service to Tennessee. It is an honor to have your support.”

That is a far cry from mid-July, when Fitzhugh mocked Dean’s purported plan to be “pragmatic” if elected and work with Republican supermajorities in the state House and Senate, The Memphis Daily News said last month.

“My opponent says he’s pragmatic,” the paper quoted Fitzhugh as saying. “Well, everybody’s pragmatic for heaven’s sake.

“If you get up there in that Republican-led legislature and you’re pragmatic, they are going to roll right over you. I don’t say we have to fight all the time. But you need to understand how this state works. You’ve got to stand up for what you believe in from time to time. But you have to also remember that if you don’t have the votes you can’t win but you might as well get what you can.”






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