Some people (One person?) has been all over the blogs trying to say the results of the Republican caucus elections were all caused by one person, Ward Baker. I have known Ward for years, even before I was in office I worked with Ward on local elections. Since that time, Wards hard work and dedication to getting conservative Republicans elected has been noticed and Ward has gone from ground pounding door to door man into a National leader in Republican politics. I honestly think Ward will one day lead a candidate to the presidency. He is that good and works that hard.
Despite Wards great success he has always stayed loyal and stuck close to his Tennessee roots. Ward wants a Republican majority in the Tennessee legislature.
As has been the case for years the Tennessee Republican party was not very successful in raising money for legislative candidates (We are traditionally out spent two or three to one.) Part of that is not being in the majority, other legislators think part of that is due also to an almost total fixation on the top of the ticket races by the state party.
Cooperation and coordination between the state party and the legislature in presenting a state wide message for the legislature as well as consistently presenting it in a way to win legislative races has also been a weakness.
Any way, when the numbers started to come in and look bad for Republicans in the legislature, Ward stepped up to the plate. He got the state legislature its own advisor by the name of Layne Provine. The legislative caucus had been working on its own to create and coordinate its own message called the Tennessee Trust. Ward then went out and helped raise money for the caucus and its members so we could get the message out. I am not talking nickel and dime, but big money. Six figures plus. Polling was also done to focus the money to where it was most needed.
We were able to stem the tide and keep the seats we had in what most will admit was the perfect storm for Democrats. With out Ward we would have lost seats. No questions asked. Did Ward do it for a big payday? No. He did it because he wants to see Republicans take over in Tennessee.
Ward is friends with Glen Casada. He worked with him on the phone almost daily on our races. Not to mention they had been friends for years previous to this election cycle. Was Ward pulling for Glen? Probably yes, as a friend, but he didn't go around twisting arms on anyone to vote any way in the caucus elections. Unless you know Ward or Glen personally you may not even know they were friends. Ward works for a republican majority and stays out of the inside fights.