Tipton County Friends of Gwinn Adopt Rhyming Slogan for Campaign
Democratic Candidate for Governor Has Been Practically Unknown in Rank and File of Party
BY CHARLES B. FORBES
“Gwinn to Win!”
That’s the slogan adopted by the friends of L. E. Qwinn for the Democratic nomination for governor.
“Who is Gwinn?”
What is the question which was on the lips of those who were watching the political pot late in January when he announced his candidacy.
Everybody in Tipton county knew who he was, and a goodly portion of the residents of Shelby county had heard of him.
Aside from his associates in the Sixty-first General Assembly and the members of the Democratic state executive committee, he was practically unknown to the rank and file of the party.
His name is L. E. Gwinn, and he was born near Burlison, Tipton county, February 13, 1861.
He has been school teacher, editor, lawyer and banker, and in all four professions he has made his mark.
“Boy Candidate” of Race.
He is the “boy candidate” in the race, having barely passed his 38th birthday.
But if Gwinn was an unknown in January, he soon cured that defect.
Today he is regarded throughout the state as a man with a message – a message which is disapproved by some and approved by others.
He jumped into prominence with his attack on the existing system of taxation and his proposed remedies, and whether men agree with him or not, the thoughtful concede that he has offered to the man in the street and in the field something to chew on.
In appearance he is short and slender. He walks with a slight stop and an approach to a shuffling gait. He has the look of the student or the country preacher, rather than the statesman or the politician. His appearance does him no injustice, for he is a student – a student of life and a student of government.
He was born on a farm and he knows the life of the farmer. At 16, after an education in the rural schools, he turned teacher and for seven years continued int hat profession and left his imprint upon the school system of his country.
He then turned to journalism, and for two years helped to mould public opinion, in his spare time reading law and preparing for admission to the bar in 1909.
In 1911, he was chosen superintendent of schools for Tipton county, and in the six years that he served in that capacity he succeeded in establishing the elementary and high shools [sic] on a high plane. In 1917, the State Teachers’ Association selected him to be president. His continued interest in educational matters is evidenced by his service on the Covington Board of Education, of which he now is president.
He was elected to the state senate in 1918 from Tipton and Shelby counties, and during the two years that he served, he won a reputation for independence of thought and action which stamped him as a man to be reckoned with.
The practice of law, the perfomance of his duties in official position and his domestice affairs have not prevented him from taking an active part in religious and social gatherings. He is a member of the Christian Church, a Mason, Odd Fellow, Elk and Woodman of the World.
In 1911, he married Miss Willie Agnes Walker of Atoka, Tenn., and three children have been born to that union.
Mr. Gwinn is one of the leaders of the West Tennessee bar, his practice in Tipton county having gained for him a wide reputation as a skilled advocate. he is president of the Planers’ Bank of Atoka and a member of the board of the Union Savings Bank of Covington.
Mr. Gwinn is, in truth, a self-made man. He took what was offered to him and has made the most of it through industry and thrift. He believes in himself, and , believing thus, he feels that he can make other believe in him.
One is impressed with his sincerity and his broad general knowledge when engaged in private conversation with Mr. Gwinn, but it is not in private conversation that he is at his best.
In order to see him at his best, you must see him in action. He cannot be called an orator, but he is unexcelled as a speaker. He has the gift of marshalling facts and of presenting them to the best advantages. He cannot stoop to demagoguery or hypocrisy. With him, a facts is a fact and a truth is a truth. And it is by sheer weight of truth that he forces his point home.
One cannot conceive of Mr. Gwinn making a plea for votes for sentimental reasons. His is an argument for support on the basis of service. his is a policy of value received.
There is no intention here to predwict what the primary will do far Mr. Gwinn, but there is no hesitancy in stating that he is the kind of a candidate who wears well. He will make friends as he goes – friends of the thinking men and women who are looking for a way out of the chaos that misadministration of their affairs has led them into.
“Gwinn to Win!” is the rallying cry of his friends.
Mehbe so Mebhe so.
But whether he wins or not, he’ll be the same Gwinn pushing with all his might for Democratic success in November and lending his assistance to an intelligent solution of the state’s fiscal affairs.
[The Tennessean, Nashville, Tenn., 2 Jul 1922]