Sid Salter: Deja vu in House race standoff

In 1999, Musgrove won the popular vote by some 8,344 votes. But Musgrove and Parker each carried 61 House districts. One of the districts that Parker, the Republican, carried was Eaton’s District 79. Parker carried Eaton’s home Smith County by more than 500 votes.

But Eaton, the Democrat, on Jan. 4, 2000, voted for Musgrove. It wasn’t surprising. Both Eaton and Musgrove were Democrats.

Musgrove won by a margin of 86 to 36 in the House floor vote. Out of 86 Democratic votes in the House that day, 84 voted for Musgrove. Of the 33 Republicans in the House that day, 31 voted for Parker. All three independents voted for Parker.
Two Democrats voted for Parker, while two Republicans voted for Musgrove. Politics always makes strange bedfellows.

Bottom line, Eaton has about the same chance of a special session law change and a do-over election as Parker had of the same thing back in the 1999 governor’s race.

As House Democrats stuck together and voted together to settle the Musgrove-Parker race, expect House Republicans to do the same thing with the Eaton-Tullos tie vote.