elections

State Elections Commission ousts commissioner for strip search joking

The State Election Commission voted Monday to remove Putnam Election Commissioner Terry Herrin from office after testimony citing his repeated joking about a woman election office employee facing a strip search, reports the Cookeville Herald Citizen.

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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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Rep. Byrd cites support from former players, ‘no comment’ on allegations

Rep. David Byrd (R-Waynesboro) and Rep. Sheila Butt (R-Columbia) attend a committee meeting in Nashville on March 28, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Rep. David Byrd (R-Waynesboro), who is accused of sexual misconduct with three teenagers when he was a 28-year-old basketball coach, says he has received the support of 66 former players as he embarks on his re-election campaign. As for the allegations from three decades ago? “No comment,” he said.

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Supremes will decide date for Nashville mayor election

The Tennessee Supreme Court decided today to resolve a dispute over when Nashville’s election of a new mayor should take place. The Metropolitan Nashville City Council has set the vote for Aug. 2, but a lawsuit contends the vote on a full-time successor to Megan Barry, who resigned in a sex scandal, should be in May.

A lower court judge decided the August date should stand, but that was appealed with a request that the Supreme Court take up the matter promptly. In an order issued today, the Supreme Court agreed to do so and set a hearing for April 9.

The court order is HERE. Previous post HERE.

Judge rules special Nashville mayor election should be held Aug. 2

A judge Wednesday dismissed two lawsuits that sought to force an expedited special election for mayor in May, instead sticking with Aug. 2 as the date for choosing a successor to Megan Barry, who resigned in disgrace after pleading guilty to a felony.

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Republican Reeves wins 71 percent of vote in Senate District 14 special election

Republican Shane Reeves was elected to the state Senate District 14 seat by a margin of more than two-to-one over Democrat Gayle Jordan Tuesday, according to final unofficial returns from the state Division of Elections.

The totals: Reeves 13,139 votes, or 71.73 percent; Jordan 5,179 votes, 28.27 percent.

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GOP senators kill Democratic push for paper ballot trail in TN voting

Republican state senators have spurned a Democratic proposal to require a paper receipt for all votes cast in Tennessee elections so there would be a paper trail to follow in case electronic voting machines are hacked, reports WPLN.

The bill (SB2090) by Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Jeff Yarbro of Nashville failed to get a seconding motion when it came up Tuesday in the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

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Goins becomes latest incumbent to announce retirement from General Assembly

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Republican Rep. Tilman Goins (R-Morristown) is the latest sitting lawmaker to announce he won’t seek re-election this fall.

“It is now time to step aside so that someone else with a heart for service can bring their perspective to help continue fighting for the people of Morristown and Hamblen County,” Goins said in a release Monday.

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Reeves defeats Carr in Senate District 14 Republican primary

Murfreesboro businessman Shane Reeves defeated former state Rep. Joe Carr Thursday to win the Republican nomination in a Senate District 14 special election. Final unofficial results show Reeves with 4,720 votes to 2,556 for Carr (64.87 percent to 35.13 percent).

Democrat Gayle Jordan, a Murfreesboro attorney, was unopposed for the Democratic nomination. She got 574 votes and will face Reeves on March 13 in the special general election to fill the seat vacated by former Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), who resigned to become state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Department’s rural development office in Tennessee.

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Election officials to legislators: No major problem with voting fraud in TN — for now

At a Senate State and Local Government Committee hearing Tuesday, Tennessee election officials tried to allay legislator fears that the state’s voting records are vulnerable to hacking, reports WPLN. At the same time, they acknowledged there’s a significant risk that outside groups could try to disrupt future elections.

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