This isn't about the elected officials in the back pocket of oil lobbyists, so lets be clear on that first. We are talking about the Republican primary voters in Tennessee who ousted their long time Congressman David Davis. The challenger, Phil Roe, a Republican mayor in the area beat out Davis by a slim margin, but the fact that he won in an area where incumbency rules is huge. The fact that he did it by calling out Davis' connection to big oil is also tremendous.
Being linked to "big oil" turned into a big problem for Tennessee Republican freshman Rep. David Davis, who became the first congressman from that state to lose in a primary in more than four decades.
Johnson City Mayor Phil Roe beat Davis by a 500-vote margin Thursday in the solidly Republican 1st District in the northeastern corner of the state.
Roe's victory came after a bruising campaign in which he accused Davis of selling out to "big oil."
Congressional incumbents from Tennessee are rarely voted out of office. Statewide, the last time an incumbent was defeated in a party primary was 1966 when Democrat Tom Murray lost to Ray Blanton in what was then the 7th District. Blanton won the general election then became governor in 1974.
Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, everyone is equal, depending on the car they buy of course, when standing in front of a gas pump. Sky high prices will drive (no pun intended) people to do extraordinary things, such as kicking out local Congressman in the desire for change. The residents of TN-01 may have just picked another Republican, but it business as usual was not what they voted for this time around.
Oil companies, their lobbyists and the politicians who take their money better beware. This small primary could be more telling than they'd like it to be.