legislative campaigns

Doss gets a challenger in House District 70 GOP primary

Clay Doggett, a Pulaski businessman, has announced he will seek the Republican nomination in House District 70, now held by incumbent Republican Rep. Barry Doss of Leoma, the House Transportation Committee chairman who gained some statewide attention last session as House sponsor of Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act, including an increase in fuel taxes.

Here’s Doggett’s press release:

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Rep. JoAnne Favors announces she won’t seek reelection

State Rep. JoAnne Favors, a Chattanooga Democrat representing House District 28, announced Monday she won’t seek re-election in 2018 and instead will retire at the end of her current term, reports the Times Free Press.

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Boyd approved $1M grant to state Senate candidate’s company; Company PAC gave Boyd $5K

Shane Reeves, a Murfreesboro businessman seeking the GOP nomination in state Senate District 14, sent Randy Boyd’s gubernatorial campaign a $5,000 donation a year after Boyd as economic and community development commissioner signed off on a $1 million state grant to Reeves’ company, reports Tennessee Star.

The Star says this has unnamed “political observers” questioning whether Boyd “used his previous office as a platform to prepare a gubernatorial campaign by directing state grants to local officials and businesses who might, and in many cases have, support his run for governor.”

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Henderson County mayor seeks House District 72 seat (now held by retiring Rep. McDaniel)

Henderson County Mayor Dan Hughes has launched a campaign for the Republican nomination in House District 72, where veteran Rep. Steve McDaniel has announced he won’t seek reelection, reports the Jackson Sun. The district covers Chester, Decatur, Henderson and Perry counties.

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Two quickly announce as GOP candidates in Senate District 14, vacated by Tracy

Former state Rep. Joe Carr of Lascassas, who unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. Senate in 2014 and for the 6th Congressional seat in 2016, has announced as a candidate for the Republican nomination in the state Senate District 14 seat vacated by Jim Tracy. So has Shane Reeves, a Murfreesboro businessmen.

Their initial news releases are below.

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Tracy resigns, triggering special election in Senate District 14

News release from Lt. Gov. Randy McNally’s office

NASHVILLE — Senator Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) today announced he has resigned as Senator of the 14th District and Speaker Pro Tempore of the Senate effective immediately. President Donald Trump appointed Tracy to the position of Tennessee State Director for Rural Development late Friday. Tracy has accepted the appointment and under the Tennessee Constitution is required to relinquish his Senate seat.

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Jim Tracy becomes third TN senator to get new job through Trump administration requiring resignation from legislature

State Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Jim Tracy of Shelbyville has been named Tennessee state director of rural development by U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, an appointment that will require the Republican lawmaker to step down from his Senate District 14 seat that covers Bedford, Lincoln, Marshall and Moore counties, along with part  of Rutherford County.

Perdue filled state director rural development positions in all 50 states with Trump administration appointees in an announcement Friday. He also named state directors of USDA’s Farm Services Agency, a position held in Tennessee during the Obama administration by former Democratic state Rep. Gene Davidson of Adams. The FSA Tennessee post now goes to Dennis Beavers, apparently the same Dennis Beavers who headed the Trump campaign in Alabama last year and who is identified in some media reports as a native of McMinn County, Tennessee.

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Democrat joins two Republicans in campaigning to succeed House Speaker Beth Harwell in House District 56

Bob Freeman, a Nashville real estate professional and son of prominent Tennessee Democratic donor Bill Freeman, announced his candidacy for the House District 56 seat now held by House Speaker Beth Harwell at a rally and fundraiser hosted by the Davidson County Democratic Party on Saturday night, reports The Tennessean.

Two Republicans are already running. He’s the first Democrat.

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A political ‘pay-to-play’ system in place for state House Republican Caucus?

The state House Republican Caucus is calling on every GOP representative to give the caucus political fund at least $1,000 with substantially higher amounts set for leadership positions and committee chairs, reports Tennessee Star, which characterizes the document it has published as creating a “pay-to-play” system. A memo says it’s supposed to produce $267,500 in funds for Republican legislative candidates.

The Star is in receipt of the “Due Schedule” document that came out of a late August Sunday morning Republican House Member Caucus meeting, the timing of which coincided with Sunday worship and summer vacation for many.

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Jason Emert, narrow loser in 2014 state House race, joins GOP candidate clutter in 2nd Congressional District

Jason Emert, who lost to state Rep. Eddie Smith of Knoxville by 28 votes in the 2014 Republican primary for state House District 13 after a substantially self-funded campaign, has announced as a candidate for the GOP nomination to the 2nd Congressional District seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan Jr.

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