Democrats

Dean, Fitzhugh clash on charter schools, NRA and fed flood money

In a head-to-head Nashville debate, the two leading Democrats in Tennessee’s gubernatorial race tussled during a debate Tuesday over charter schools, the National Rifle Association and one candidate’s use of federal flood money to build a downtown Nashville amphitheater, reports the Associated Press.

State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh quickly questioned ex-Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s history of charter school support. Fitzhugh pointed out he has the endorsement of the Tennessee Education Association teachers group.

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Bredesen, Alabama Sen. Doug Jones talk bipartisanship at Democratic fundraiser; $450K collected

In Saturday night speeches to the Tennessee Democratic Party’s Three Star Dinner, Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and former Gov. Phil Bredesen struck similar themes, saying a willingness to work with Republicans is the way to change Democrats’ political fortunes in the Volunteer state. Party officials say about $450,000 was raised at the event in Lebanon.

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Judge rules Cohen opponent can run in Democratic primary, contrary to state party action

Shelby County Chancellor Walter Evans has ruled that M. LaTroy Alexandria-Williams can run as a Democrat against U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in the August primary, reports the Commercial Appeal.

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Sen. Reginald Tate’s primary opponent endorsed by Democratic colleagues, citing his siding with GOP in legislative voting

Two of state Sen. Reginald Tate’s Democratic colleagues from Memphis – Sens. Lee Harris and Sara Kyle – have endorsed his primary opponent as he seeks reelection, reports the Commercial Appeal, adding that’s a break with tradition and “a consequence of siding with Republicans on hot-button issues like defunding Planned Parenthood.”

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Dean and Fitzhugh on the stump: ‘It’s our turn’ and Democrats are excited

Excerpt of comments by Democratic gubernatorial candidates Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh to the Maury County Democratic Party’s annual fundraising dinner on Saturday night, as reported by Columbia Daily Herald Editor James Bennett:

(The piece begins with Bennett declaring there was a remarkable attitude contrast with the same event held prior to the 2016 elections — Democrats then “were walking around with their tails between their legs” while this year “Democrats were sticking out their chests and making bold predictions about 2018.”)

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Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators endorses Fitzhugh for governor

Press release from Craig Fitzhugh campaign

 Memphis, TN – Today, Members of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators have formally announced their endorsement for Craig Fitzhugh for Tennessee Governor.  In making the announcement, members called Fitzhugh a long-time ally of the Caucus and said he has worked diligently with black legislators during (his) legislative tenure.

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Fitzhugh seeks AG opinion on regulation of chicken farms (with almost 600 more needed to supply Tyson Foods in West TN)

House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh, who is running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, has asked for a state attorney general’s opinion on legal issues surrounding a planned Tyson Foods chicken processing plant at Humboldt and 590 new commercial chicken farm operations that will be needed to supply poultry for the plant and an expanding Tyson operation at Union City.

Groundbreaking for the new facility was held Wednesday, though Tennessee Star reports the state Department of Environment and Conservation has so far denied two water pollution runoff permits needed for construction of the processing plant. In a follow-up article today, the online arch-conservative conservative website notes that Karl Dean, also running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, was on hand for the groundbreaking event — or, in the Star’s words, “cheering ‘big meats’ newest location.” It references a Dean Facebook post saying Tyson will be “a great partner in making sure we continue to have the workforce for good jobs.”

At the ceremony, Tyson officials announced a $500,000 grant to Gibson County, reports the Jackson Sun.

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Bob Clement and Lincoln Davis take different sides in Democratic primary for 7th Congressional District seat

Former Democratic congressmen Bob Clement and Lincoln Davis are taking opposing sides in their party’s 7th Congressional District primary where Republican state Sen. Mark Green is unopposed for the Republican nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn.

Clement, who served as 5th Congressional District from 1988 until 2003, is backing Justin Kanew, a film writer and producer from College Grove in Williamson County  Davis, who was the 4th Congressional District representative from 2003 until 2011, is backing Matt Reel of Primm Springs in Hickman County.

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County mayor drops Democratic affiliation after endorsing GOP’s Boyd for governor

Gibson County Mayor Tom Witherspoon, twice elected as a Democrat, is running for reelection as an independent after complaints about his public endorsement of Republican Randy Boyd in the governor’s race, reports Tennessee Star. He had initially filed a petition to run as a Democrat.

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Democratic challenger to U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais gets Wall Street Journal attention

In an article with a Chapel Hill, Tenn., dateline, the Wall Street Journal cites Mariah Phillips as an example of Democrats “fielding challengers for nearly every Republican U.S. House incumbent this year—a change from the last midterm election in 2014, when 36 Republicans won re-election without facing a general election opponent.” She’s running in the 4th Congressional District, now held by Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais.

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