Pody wins Senate District 17 seat by 308 votes (updated with comments)

Republican state Rep. Mark Pody defeated Democrat Mary Alice Carfi by about 300 votes in a special election Tuesday — according to unofficial returns — to fill the state Senate District 17 seat vacated by former Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet. Pody is a longtime friend and ally of Beavers.

From the Lebanon Democrat:

Pody received 5,990 votes in District 17, while Carfi received 5,682. Pody won in Cannon, Macon and Wilson counties, while Carfi won in Clay, DeKalb and Smith counties. Four of the six counties were decided by 3 percent or fewer votes. The largest difference came from Macon County, where Pody won 64.26 percent to Carfi’s 35.74 percent.

“This was a team effort,” said Pody. “I want to thank everybody who worked for my campaign, but most of all I want to thank God, because without Him, I don’t get this win.”

According to Wilson County Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren, there are 13 provisional ballots in Wilson County, and he expects a similar number from other counties, which wouldn’t be enough to change the outcome. The election will be certified Dec. 28, and the provisional votes will be counted then.

UPDATE NOTE: Excerpt from an Associated Press story:

While President Donald Trump carried the six counties northeast of Nashville by 48 percentage points over Democrat Hillary Clinton last year, Pody prevailed over little-known Democrat Mary Alice Carfi on Tuesday by just 2.6 percentage points.

Republican operative Ward Baker said the result following so quickly on the heels of Democratic victory in the U.S. Senate race in Alabama last week should serve as “a clear example of why we can’t take anything for granted.”

Baker in his previous role as executive director of the National Republican Senate Committee was credited last year with holding onto a GOP majority in the U.S. Senate against heavy odds. He is now a private consultant and is advising U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn’s Senate campaign.

“It’s time for Tennessee Republicans to wake up and engage the voter base,” Baker said in a series of tweets Tuesday evening.

“Democrats shifted a deep red seat by 46 points,” he said. “We may have a 2006 environment, but we can’t run 2006 campaigns. It’s 2018 — only data-driven campaigns will deliver reliable wins.”

Statement from state Democratic Chair Mary Mancini:

“On behalf of all Tennessee Democrats, we want to thank Mary Alice Carfi for stepping up and running an incredible race. This was a grassroots campaign driven by volunteers who made over 29,000 door knocks and phone calls and had over 6,000 conversations with voters in the district. Mary Alice inspired people to get involved by leading with her values and fighting for Tennessee families. While we came up just short, we showed a tremendous improvement in a difficult district that Donald Trump won by 50 points, 72%-22%.

Statement from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally:

“I would like to congratulate Mark Pody on a hard fought victory. His strong, conservative message resonated with the people of District 17. I look forward to working with him to reduce taxes, keep our budget balanced and bring jobs to Tennessee. He will be an outstanding state senator for the people of Wilson, Cannon, Dekalb, Smith, Clay and Macon counties.”

One Response to Pody wins Senate District 17 seat by 308 votes (updated with comments)

  • Stuart I. Anderson says:

    The liberals are energized, we conservatives are apparently asleep. If we continue our over confident slumber we will miss a wonderful opportunity to make the Republican Party as conservative as the Democratic Party is liberal. Let Mark Pody’s uncomfortably close victory be our wake up call.

    Joe Carr’s January State Senate District 14 primary race is the next skirmish in the 2018 year long electoral battle. Joe needs financial contributions and volunteers. Please join me answering the call.

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