legislative campaigns

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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Former Johnson City mayor challenges Van Huss in House District 6 GOP primary

Former Johnson City Mayor Steve Darden is challenging incumbent state Rep. Micah Van Huss in the House District 6 Republican primary, reports the Johnson City Press.

Darden, now the managing partner of a law firm, served 10 years on the City Commission, from 2001 to 2011. His last two years on the commission was to fill the unexpired term of Phil Roe, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008.

“Tennessee does not end in Knoxville, yet sometimes it seems that we continue to be treated by some in the state capital as if it did,” Darden said. “We need a representative who has what it takes to get things done on the state level. My business background, my law practice and my record of success in the real world and in local leadership show that I can be such a representative.”

Van Huss was first elected to the 6th House District seat in 2012, and is seeking re-election to a fourth term in Nashville. The winner of the Aug. 2 Republican Primary will face Democratic candidate Justin R. Leslie and Murphey Johnson, an independent candidate, in the Nov. 6 general election.

Sen. Thelma Harper officially announces she won’t seek reelection

News release from Senate Democratic Caucus

NASHVILLE – After nearly 40 years of public service, state Sen. Thelma Harper announced today that she would not seek re-election to the 19th Senatorial District.

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Former Sen. Campfield, former Sheriff Hutchinson seeking state House seat

Stacey Campfield, one of the state’s more controversial legislators before losing a bid for reelection to the Senate in 2014, is one of five Republicans picking up a qualifying petition to run for the state House District 89 seat that is being vacated by Rep. Roger Kane (R-Knoxville), according to the Knox County Election Commission. Another is former Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchinson.

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Ralph Bristol begs off of state Senate bid

As we first reported in the current edition of the Tennessee Journal, former conservative talk radio host Ralph Bristol had agreed to run against state Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) this fall before ultimately changing his mind because of objections to the campaign tactics that he was told he would have had to pursue.

Following is Bristol’s own account about why he made the decision not to run:

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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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Special election provides fodder for statewide races

The outcome of Tuesday’s special state Senate election in the 14th District won’t make much difference in the how the upper chamber of the General Assembly is operated. The GOP supermajority will be firmly in place regardless. But both parties are hoping that the race will hurt opposing candidates in the U.S. Senate and governor’s races.

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Gay couple protests TNGOP use of wedding photo in attack ad; more media reporting on Senate District 14

A direct mail attack ad against Democratic state Senate candidate Gayle Jordan uses a picture of her with two gay men – she officiated at their marriage – who have consulted a lawyer because the photograph was lifted from a Facebook page and used without their permission, reports WSMV.

Shane Morgan, an Air Force veteran who suffers from PTSD, said he and his husband, Landon, were married by Jordan in December as private citizens and didn’t sign up to be caught in mudslinging. The attack mailer has a headline over the picture saying, “Liberal Gayle Jordan will destroy the fabric of American society. Take her word for it.”

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Blackburn, DesJarlais rally for Reeves; another Republican urges ‘protest vote’ for Democrat

U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Scott DesJarlais urged support for Republican state Senate candidate Shane Reeves on Saturday while the Murfreesboro Post reports a former GOP congressional and state Senate candidate is urging voters to cast a “protest vote” for Democrat Gayle Jordan instead.

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Republicans launch full-blown attack on Democrat nominee in Senate District 14

The Tennessee Republican Party has launched a direct mail attack on Gayle Jordan, declaring the Democratic nominee in a Senate District 14 special election “a self-described ‘hippie liberal atheist activist’… (who) wants to destroy our conservative Tennessee values.”

State GOP Chairman Scott Golden has also issued a press release calling on the two Democratic candidates for governor, Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh, to denounce Jordan as an example of “extremism in their party.”

And Republican Senate Speaker Randy McNally has declared in a tweet: In my 40+ years in politics, I’ve seen few candidates as dangerous as Gayle Jordan. We need to strongly reject her assault on faith and our Tennessee values. District 14 needs to send @ReevesforTN to the @tnsenate on March 13!

Jordan responded in a Facebook video that McNally shouldn’t be using taxpayer money “wasting time on Twitter attacking religious liberty:”

My Message to Lt. Gov McNally

We don't need another tax-payer funded Tweet'er in Chief. Let's get to work on the real issues at hand. Vote #TNValues March 13th. Vote Gayle Jordan for State Senate.Paid for by Campaign to Elect Gayle Jordan, Wanda Ogletree, Treasurer

Posted by Gayle Jordan for Senate, TN 14 on Saturday, March 3, 2018

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