Early vote turnout light in Senate District 17 special election

A total of just 5,295 early votes were cast in the state Senate District 17 special election contest between Republican Mark Pody nd Democrat Mary Alice Carfi, according to the state Division of Elections. Election day is Tuesday with Pody, currently a state representative, a heavy favorite – but Democrats are hoping Mt. Juliet attorney Carfi can pull off an upset in the seat vacated by Sen. Mae Beavers, who is running for governor.

Well over half the early votes – 3.310 – were cast in Wilson County. The district also includes Cannon, Clay, DeKalb,  Macon and Smith counties. Beavers backs Pody, who has teamed with her in pushing legislation over the past few years.

Excerpt from a Tennessean report:

Wilson County Democratic Party Chair Kelly Kline believes a vote for Pody is “basically like putting Mae Beavers (back in office), which is the goal of the Republican Party,” she said.

Wilson County Republican Party Chair Terri Nicholson personally backs Pody and believes he has strong support overall within the county party.

…Democrats were bolstered by Doug Jones recent upset over Republican Roy Moore in the Alabama U.S. Senate race. That Alabama Senate race included accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore — which he has denied —according to reports.

Pody believes the vote in Alabama was more about the accusations against Moore, “rather than a referendum on the platform the party is standing for,” he said.

Carfi believes there were separate issues that impacted the Alabama race, but also the current national political landscape is generating a desire for elected officials to “bring all these groups pitted against each other around to work together,” she said.

Note: Beavers won reelection to a new four-year term in 2014 without a Democratic opponent, receiving 35,454 votes. She won the Republican primary in August of that year with 16,177 votes to 11,104 for challenger Clark Boyd.

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