Democrats

Democrats have fielded candidates in almost all state House and Senate races

Democrats have filed as candidates for almost all seats in a Tennessee General Assembly that is now controlled by a Republican Supermajority and party leaders say that sets up more contested partisan legislative races than they can remember from recent history.

By the party’s initial count, there were Democratic candidates running in 97 of the 99 state House seats and 15 of the 17 Senate seats that are on the November, 2018,  general election ballot. But a final review of qualifying petitions indicates there are three Republicans each in the Senate and House with no Democrat qualifying to oppose them.

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Democratic leader: Harwell’s TennCare work bill is a ‘political stunt’ using financial gimmicks

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Stewart says House Speaker Beth Harwell’s bill to impose work requirements on some people enrolled in the state’s TennCare program is “a political stunt to get votes in the governor’s race” and relies on “fairy tale” financial gimmicks to cover projected costs, reports the Times Free Press.

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Karl Dean sees no ‘huge effect’ on Democrats from Nashville mayor scandal

Former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, a Democrat now running for governor, said his successor’s resignation on Tuesday will not have a negative impact on the Music City or his party, reports the Johnson City Press.

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Haslam spokeswoman: ‘Political affiliation did not play a role’ in appointing school safety panel

Through a spokeswoman, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s office is pushing back against criticism of his appointments to a  task force assigned to study school safety and recommend revisions in state laws or policy, reports the Times Free Press. Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris has been the lead critic, saying the 16-member panel is solid Republican with no Democratic members “where a bipartisan consensus is sorely needed.”

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Republicans launch full-blown attack on Democrat nominee in Senate District 14

The Tennessee Republican Party has launched a direct mail attack on Gayle Jordan, declaring the Democratic nominee in a Senate District 14 special election “a self-described ‘hippie liberal atheist activist’… (who) wants to destroy our conservative Tennessee values.”

State GOP Chairman Scott Golden has also issued a press release calling on the two Democratic candidates for governor, Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh, to denounce Jordan as an example of “extremism in their party.”

And Republican Senate Speaker Randy McNally has declared in a tweet: In my 40+ years in politics, I’ve seen few candidates as dangerous as Gayle Jordan. We need to strongly reject her assault on faith and our Tennessee values. District 14 needs to send @ReevesforTN to the @tnsenate on March 13!

Jordan responded in a Facebook video that McNally shouldn’t be using taxpayer money “wasting time on Twitter attacking religious liberty:”

My Message to Lt. Gov McNally

We don't need another tax-payer funded Tweet'er in Chief. Let's get to work on the real issues at hand. Vote #TNValues March 13th. Vote Gayle Jordan for State Senate.Paid for by Campaign to Elect Gayle Jordan, Wanda Ogletree, Treasurer

Posted by Gayle Jordan for Senate, TN 14 on Saturday, March 3, 2018

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Rep. Johnnie Turner won’t seek reelection in House District 85

Press release from House Democratic Caucus

NASHVILLE – State Representative Johnnie Turner of Memphis today announced that she will not run for re-election when her current term ends later this year.  Turner has been a member of the State Legislature since January 2010 when she succeeded her late husband, Representative Larry Turner.

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Democratic attorney announces run in state Senate District 7, now held by Republican Briggs

Press release from Jamie Ballinger campaign

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.- Knoxville native Jamie Ballinger is excited to announce her run for Tennessee State Senate District Seven in Knox County. After graduating with honors from the University of Tennessee College of Law, Jamie became an attorney at London Amburn where she achieved the status of shareholder. In 2014, she joined Baker Donelson where she practices healthcare and employment law.  Continue reading

Green Beret Democrat campaigns via surrogates in 7th Congressional District

Matt Reel, a Democrat seeking the 7th Congressional District nomination, is on active duty with the Green Berets until this summer and is campaigning for now through surrogates including former U.S. Rep. Lincoln Davis. But his campaign has put out an online ‘introductory’ video.

An opponent in the Democratic primary is Justin Kanew, a film writer and producer from Williamson County. On the Republican side, state Sen. Mark Green is seeking nomination to the seat now held by U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackurn, who is running for the U.S. Senate rather than seeking reelection.

The Reel video is HERE; a press release below.

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Democrats introduce Tenneseee Net Neutrality bill

Democrats introduce their Net Neutrality bill at a press conference in Nashville on Jan. 23, 2018. From right are Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris, Rep. John Ray Clemmons, and Rep. Dwayne Thompson. (Photo credit: Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Democrats introduce their Net Neutrality bill at a press conference in Nashville on Jan. 23, 2018. From right are Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris, Rep. John Ray Clemmons, and Rep. Dwayne Thompson. (Photo credit: Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Press release from legislative Democrats on HB1755:

NASHVILLE, TN – In the wake of the FCC’s recent vote to repeal net neutrality regulations, State Representative John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville) and State Senator Lee Harris (D-Memphis) have introduced the “Tennessee Net Neutrality and Internet Consumer Protection Act” to enact and enforce net neutrality rules at the state level.

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Matlock push to ‘defund’ Planned Parenthood bashed by Democrats

State Rep. Jimmy Matlock, a candidate for the Republican nomination to the 2nd Congressional District seat, has announced a push for passage of legislation to totally “defund” Planned Parenthood in Tennessee, contending there is currently a “false narrative” that no taxpayer dollars support the organization.

Legislative Democrats held a news conference Wednesday to denounce the bill, reports the News Sentinel (with Tennessean input), and a Planned Parenthood spokesperson said the proposal would have a “devastating impact” on preventive care services for women such as birth control and cancer screenings.

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