legislative campaigns

Legislative candidate’s wife charged with elder abuse, theft

Stephanie Butler, owner of a Cookeville retirement home named Senior Lifestyles, has been charged with elder abuse and theft from residents of the facility, reports the Cookeville Herald-Citizen. She is also the target of a lawsuit stemming from alleged actions in operating a now-closed facility known as Victorian Gardens Retirement Village.

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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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With an eye on becoming House speaker, Casada budgets $200K to help elect favored Republican reps

House Majority Leader Glen Casada has budgeted more than $200,000 in spending by his political action committee as part of an “aggressive strategy” to elect Republican representatives this year and —  perhaps not so coincidentally – help him get elected as the House speaker by those winning the races, reports Andy Sher.

Casada is one of at least four current Republican legislators eyeing a run to succeed current House Speaker Beth Harwell, who is not seeking reelection to the House this year and instead running for governor. The other three are Rep. Gerald McCormick, a former majority leader; House Speaker Pro Tempore Curtis Johnson and Rep. David Hawk, currently assistant majority leader.

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Reports of elder abuse prompt raid on legislative candidate’s business

An assisted living facility in Cookeville partly owned by Ed Butler, who is unopposed for the Republican nomination in the state House District 41 seat now held by Democratic Rep. John Mark Windle of Livingston, has been raided by authorities amid reports that some elderly residents have been mistreated.

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Mayor running for Congress, former sheriff running for legislature squabble in hallway, exchange insults afterwards

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, who is running for a seat in Congress,  and former Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchinson, who is running for a seat in the state House, had a heated exchange when they crossed paths in Knoxville’s City-County building recently, reports the News Sentinel.

The May 10 incident was caught on a security camera video, but without any audio. The two men offer differing accounts of the verbal exchange, though both say it included anonymous emails about Burchett and his stepson. The two have a political history: Burchett defeated Hutchinson in the 2010 mayor’s race.

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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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Former Johnson City mayor challenges Van Huss in House District 6 GOP primary

Former Johnson City Mayor Steve Darden is challenging incumbent state Rep. Micah Van Huss in the House District 6 Republican primary, reports the Johnson City Press.

Darden, now the managing partner of a law firm, served 10 years on the City Commission, from 2001 to 2011. His last two years on the commission was to fill the unexpired term of Phil Roe, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008.

“Tennessee does not end in Knoxville, yet sometimes it seems that we continue to be treated by some in the state capital as if it did,” Darden said. “We need a representative who has what it takes to get things done on the state level. My business background, my law practice and my record of success in the real world and in local leadership show that I can be such a representative.”

Van Huss was first elected to the 6th House District seat in 2012, and is seeking re-election to a fourth term in Nashville. The winner of the Aug. 2 Republican Primary will face Democratic candidate Justin R. Leslie and Murphey Johnson, an independent candidate, in the Nov. 6 general election.

Rep. Harold Love Jr. running for Nashville mayor

Calling himself a “coalition builder,” Democratic state Rep. Harold Love Jr. has announced he will be running for Nashville mayor at the same time he’s running for reelection to the state House, reports The Tennessean. If he wins both races, Love says he’ll resign from the House District 58 seat.

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Sen. Thelma Harper officially announces she won’t seek reelection

News release from Senate Democratic Caucus

NASHVILLE – After nearly 40 years of public service, state Sen. Thelma Harper announced today that she would not seek re-election to the 19th Senatorial District.

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Former Sen. Campfield, former Sheriff Hutchinson seeking state House seat

Stacey Campfield, one of the state’s more controversial legislators before losing a bid for reelection to the Senate in 2014, is one of five Republicans picking up a qualifying petition to run for the state House District 89 seat that is being vacated by Rep. Roger Kane (R-Knoxville), according to the Knox County Election Commission. Another is former Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchinson.

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