Now, I can't know what's in Byrd's heart as an individual, so unless there is stronger evidence to the contrary, I guess you sort of have to take him at his word...until he says something like this:
Byrd said he might change his mind about who deserves his vote by the time the general election rolls around. Asked if he voted in the 2002 Republican primary because he supported Van Hilleary or another GOP candidate for governor, he said he was “fairly certain” he ultimately voted that November for Phil Bredesen, the Democratic nominee who defeated Hilleary in the general election.You don't remember if you voted for the former Mayor of Nashville over the mentally handicapped right-wing Republican Van Hilleary? That shit just slipped your mind? I could see if it was a council race or something, or hell a judicial race (God knows I can't remember who all I've voted for in those things) but you can't be sure who you backed in the run for Governor at a time when the incumbent was at historic levels of unpopularity?
“But I can’t swear to that, because honest to God, I don’t remember,” Byrd said.
Quite frankly, I somewhat agree with Byrd that these races shouldn't be partisan...but they are, and whether someone is presenting themselves as something they are not speaks to honesty and judgement. Again, maybe in his heart of hearts he's a Democrat, but this answer hardly assuages disbelief.