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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Teague named executive director of TN Democratic Party

Jeff Teague, the former president of Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee, has been named executive director of the state Democratic Party. Teague was a staffer for former Vice President Al Gore and is an accomplished fundraiser.

He succeeds Jason Freeman,  who TNDP Chair Mary Mancini says “left on his own accord,” according to. the Nashville Post.  Mancini also says party restructuring has nothing to do with reported poor fundraising — including an the FEC filing that indicates the party the party ran out of money in it’s federal election account and was $18,000 in debt last month. She says the report was incorrect.

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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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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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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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Medicaid expansion: Still pushed by Democrats, panned by Republicans

On the opening day of the 2018 legislative session Tuesday, about 100 protesters were on hand urging Medicaid expansion in Tennessee and House Democrats made a round of speeches supporting the idea. But Republican supermajority members remained hostile to the proposal, as they have since Gov. Bill Haslam tried and failed to win approval three years ago.

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Confederate statute removal brings Democratic cheers, Republican jeers

House Republican leaders Thursday criticized the sale of two Memphis city parks to clear the way for removal of Confederate statues, suggesting there may be legislative efforts against the move. House Democrats, on the other hand, praised the Memphis maneuver.

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TN county Democratic chair resigns after domestic violence dispute

Maury County Democratic Party Chairman Seth James Campbell resigned from the office Tuesday, reports the Columbia Daily Herald. Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini had called for him to do so after reports that he slightly injured his girlfriend in a confrontation, though the woman declined to prosecute and asked that a a domestic violence charge be dismissed. It was.

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