Why do we celebrate Dr. Richard Briggs? Let us count the ways.
First, he defeated state Sen. Stacey Campfield in last week's Republican primary. Campfield, as Pith readers know well, is one of the worst politicians in the country and the primary source of one of Tennessee's greatest exports — late night comedy bits. Campfield is so embarrassing that Gov. Bill Haslam half-endorsed Briggs' challenge of him.
But secondly, the doctor — who is also a veteran and a Knox County Commissioner — jumped into action Thursday night, ready to save a man's life as he waited for a concession call from Campfield.
Check this out from the Knoxville News Sentinel:
After Briggs had received news of his comfortable lead from early voting returns, he waited for a concession call from Campfield. He instead got a call from Knox County Law Director Richard “Bud” Armstrong.
Briggs is a former Army doctor who has spent time treating soldiers in Iraq.
A man had collapsed in a ballroom where the county’s GOP Party was being held.
“I just felt a body fall on me,” said Ted Hatfield, a Republican state committeeman from Halls.
Briggs jumped to his feet in his hotel room, and started to run down 12 flights of stairs, his red necktie flapping, but an elevator arrived as he hit the stairs. He turned on his heel and rode the elevator down.
The affected man, Lee Johnson, was on his back in the ballroom, wet towels around his head. Briggs knelt by him and checked his vitals while emergency workers arrived.
Johnson was conscious, appeared OK, and was loaded on to a stretcher.
Now, most indications are that Briggs is aligned with Campfield on many policy issues. He tells the KNS that "it would be his intention to be more low-key as a conservative" if he wins in November. Essentially, it seems we can expect similar votes minus the comments about AIDS coming from a man having sex with a monkey and the occasional holocaust comparison.
But for now, Campfield is gone. Ding, dong, etc.