legislators

On songwriting Sen. Rusty Crowe, Glen Campbell and Tanya Tucker

State Sen. Rusty Crowe is co-author of a song paying tribute to the late Glen Campbell that has been recorded by Tanya Tucker and released for sale this week, reports the Johnson City Press. The song, “Forever Loving You,” ties into legislation Crowe, R-Johnson City, successfully sponsored last year that was promoted by two of Campbell’s children.

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McNally gets legislative longevity award

News release from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally

NASHVILLE — Lt. Governor Randy McNally (R-Oak Ridge) has received the Thomas B. Murphy Longevity of Service Award from the Council of State Government’s Southern Legislative Conference. Senator Mark Norris (R-Collierville) presented the award to McNally at the group’s annual meeting last week in Biloxi, Mississippi.

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Mark Green launches group to promote Christians in politics; won’t run for any new office himself

State Sen. Mark Green, who had talked about running for Congress after withdrawing as President Trump’s nominee to become U.S. Army secretary, says he is instead launching a new political advocacy organization that help other Christian conservatives run for office.

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State Rep. Marc Gravitt becomes 17th incumbent to announce plans to leave a legislative seat

State Rep. Marc Gravitt, R-East Ridge, has announced he will not run for reelection to his House District 30 seat next year and instead will run for election as Hamilton County register of deeds, reports the Times Free Press.

He becomes the 17th state legislator to publicly indicate plans for a voluntary exit from the 132-member Tennessee General Assembly — a 12.8 percent turnover of seats apparently assured 15 months before the 2018 general election. (Note: This assumes confirmation by the U.S. Senate of President Trump’s appointments of Sens. Mark Norris as a federal judge and Doug Overbey as a U.S. attorney and House members proposing to run for their Senate seats.)

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Fitzhugh launches run for Democratic gubernatorial nomination

State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh announced his candidacy for governor Sunday, setting up a contested primary with fellow Democrat Karl Dean, the former mayor of Nashville, for the party nomination. Five Republicans are seeking the GOP nomination.

Dean announced his candidacy in February and reported raising $1.2 million in July. Before his announcement – in an interview with The Tennessean — Fitzhugh said he’s not intimidated by the late start and fundraising gap.

“Not at all… It really fires you up when you start $1.2 million behind.”

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State Rep. David Alexander won’t seek reelection; will run for Franklin County mayor instead

State Rep. David Alexander has announced he won’t seek reelection to the House District 39 seat next year and instead will run for Franklin County mayor.

Alexander, R-Winchester, made the announcement in an interview on WCDT radio. A video of the interview is posted on Alexander’s Facebook page, HERE.

“I believe strongly in term limits and, since the state of Tennessee does not have term limits, I’m going to impose my own limits,” says Alexander.

Alexander, who was elected to the post in 2010, said he believes his experience as a legislator will help him as a county mayor. Alexander noted he had served on the House Finance Committee, starting in his freshman term, and “the learning curve I had wasn’t a curve – it was more like a rocket ship, straight up.”

House District 39, one of the more oddly shaped districts in the state, covers the northern portions of Franklin County and Marion counties and all of Moore County.

Rep. Jimmy Matlock announces run for 2nd Congressional District seat

News release/statement from state Rep. Jimmy Matlock (R-Lenoir City)

On Monday my dear friend Congressman Jimmy Duncan announced that he will not seek re-election to Congress. It has been an honor to watch him serve and lead our community over the years. Since his announcement I’ve been overwhelmed and humbled by the flood of contacts I’ve received from people encouraging me to fill the void that will be left by his departure. In light of this encouragement and after much prayer, today I am announcing the organization of a campaign for Tennessee’s Second Congressional District.

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Former state Sen. Ray Albright dies, aged 83

Former Republican state Sen. Ray Albright, who spent 26 years as a state legislator working to improve Tennessee’s environment and its education system, died Monday at age 83, reports the Times Free Press.

Albright announced in November he had mesothelioma, a lung cancer caused by asbestos. He said he was exposed to the deadly mineral in the 1950s and ’60s when working to support his family at Combustion Engineering. Later he joined Union Planters Bank and rose to vice president before he retired.

He ran for and won a seat in the Tennessee House in 1968 on a promise to battle pollution and bring clean air back to a city dubbed in 1969 as having the dirtiest air in the nation.

Elected to the Senate in 1970, he was proud of sponsoring the bill that made Chattanooga State a technical community college. The first building on the Chattanooga State campus, the administration building, was renamed the Albright Omniplex in his honor.

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On Mae Beavers tweets, blocked Democrats, ‘hateful trolls’ and reactionary busy-bodies

The chairman of the Davidson County Democratic Party says in a press release that state Sen. Mae Beavers may be violating federal law by blocking “almost everyone who isn’t a reactionary busy-body” from her Twitter account. Beavers, a Republican candidate for governor, responded with her own press release declaring she was only “blocking hateful trolls who tweet profanity and obscene images.”

Here are the press releases:

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Legislators seek AG opinion on judge reducing jail time for vasectomies or birth control implants

News release from Senate Majority Leader Lee Harris

 MEMPHIS – Sen. Lee Harris and Rep. G.A. Hardaway have asked state Attorney General Slatery to give his opinion on whether Tennessee judges have the power to impose, reduce, or vary a defendant’s criminal sentence based on whether the defendant undergoes a medical procedure that would permanently or temporarily limit the defendant’s ability to have children.  They released the following statements in response to Judge Sam Benningfield’s efforts to reduce sentencing for inmates who choose to receive a vasectomy or implant in the White County jail.

Sen. Lee Harris said, “We depend on our judges to administer justice fairly, not to use their position of power to coerce vulnerable populations to give up their God-given rights to have children or not have children. Reproductive health care options should be available to all, in prison and out. However, those options should always be offered on a voluntary basis. These options should not come with strings attached or through coercion.”

 Rep. G.A. Hardaway said, “Offering incentives in exchange for someone’s reproductive freedom is not only unethical, I’m pretty sure it’s unconstitutional. It appears the inmates in White County are being targeted and they are not in a position to reject this coerced offer. Senator Harris and I have asked state Attorney General Slatery to opine on this matter and we look forward to his prompt response.”

Also signing the letter are Rep. Harold Love, Rep. Larry Miller, Rep. Antonio Parkinson, Rep. Johnny Shaw, and Rep. Joe Towns.

Note: Previous post on the subject HERE.  All those signing the request are Democrats. Shaw is from Bolivar, Love from Nashville with the others from Memphis.