legislators

U.S. Senate panel votes to confirm Overbey as U.S. attorney for East TN

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday voted to confirm President Trump’s nomination of state Sen. Doug Overbey as U.S. attorney for East Tennessee. The nomination still awaits a Senate floor vote.

Statement from Sen. Lamar Alexander:

“I’ve known Doug for a long time – and I know that Tennessee will be well-served by a man of such good character,” he said. “Doug is a lifelong East Tennessean and has dedicated his life to service — practicing law for more than 37 years in East Tennessee and currently serving in the Tennessee General Assembly. I am glad the Senate Judiciary Committee approved his nomination today, and I look forward to his confirmation.”

Once confirmed, Overbey plans to step down from his Senate District 2 seat.

Rep. Sherry Jones seeks election as Davidson County Court Clerk

State Rep. Sherry Jones, a Nashville Democrat who has served for more than two decades, has announce she’s running for election as Davidson County Juvenile Court Clerk next year, reports The Tennessean.

Jones, first elected to Tennessee House District 59 in 1994, recently filed paperwork with the Davidson County Election Commission allowing her to start raising money for the open countywide seat to replace Juvenile Court Clerk David Smith, who is retiring.

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Senate Democratic Leader running for Shelby County mayor

State Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris is running for Shelby County mayor and will not seek re-election to the Senate District 29 seat, reports the Memphis Daily News.

“On the campaign trail, I plan to force a real conversation about creating more meaningful opportunities for our students and reducing poverty,” Harris said Wednesday, Oct. 4, in a written statement announcing his candidacy. “It’ll be one of the first times that this has happened in this community.”

Harris, who is also a former Memphis City Council member, was elected to the state Senate in 2014 from the council seat.

He joins former Shelby County Commissioner Sidney Chism in the May (Democratic) primary…  And in the process has started a scramble for his state Senate seat which is on the ballot in the August state and federal primaries.

The Republican primary for mayor, so far, is a contest among Shelby County Trustee David Lenoir, Shelby County Juvenile Court Clerk Joy Touliatos and Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland.

Contenders in the 2018 county elections cannot begin pulling qualifying petitions for the ballot until Nov. 17.

“I’m not in this for layups,” Harris told The Daily News. “I’m in this for real serious challenges.”

Veteran Rep. Steve McDaniel won’t seek reelection

New release from Rep. Steve McDaniel

PARKER’S CROSSROADS, Tenn. – House Deputy Speaker Steve McDaniel (R-Parker’s Crossroads) announced today that he will not be a candidate for reelection in 2018. McDaniel made the announcement during his annual community meetings tour in Henderson, Chester and Perry Counties.

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Anthem protests inspire TN legislation; Titans boycott by one senator

Citing cases of “overt disrespect to our national anthem and flag,” State Rep. Judd Matheny has filed legislation that would block state government from providing funding or economic incentives to professional sport teams and privately-owned amateur teams. Matheny, R-Tullahoma, is currently a candidate for the 6th Congressional District seat.

State Sen. Paul Bailey, R-Sparta, meanwhile, says he’s boycotting Tennessee Titans games and will donate funds equal to the cost of five tickets to charities.

News releases from both legislators are below.

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With N.B. Forrest staying at TN capitol, should W.G. ‘Parson’ Brownlow return?

At least three Democratic state legislators tell the Nashville Scene they’d like to see a portrait of Republican Gov. William G. “Parson” Brownlow returned to the state Capitol building, reversing a 1987 decision – when Democrats controlled the General Assembly – that sent the controversial Reconstruction governor’s likeness to the state museum. But the idea doesn’t seem to have much support from Republicans, now the state’s majority party.

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Legislator uses campaign money for machine gun ammo

State Rep. Judd Matheny, currently running for the Republican nomination to the 6th Congressional District seat, used $1,600 from his legislative campaign funds to pay for ammunition fired during target shooting for lawmakers with machine guns in April, reports The Tennessean.

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Legislators spend $150K per year on out-of-state travel

From 2009 through 2016, 143 Tennessee state legislators went on about 720 out-of-state trips at a cost to taxpayers of about $1.2 million, according to a Tennessean review of records— about $150,000 per year for the eight-year period. Top traveler was Sen. Reginald Tate, D-Memphis.

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TNGOP legislators headed to constitutional convention planning session

News release from Senate Republican Caucus

NASHVILLE – The seven Tennessee lawmakers representing the state at a Balanced Budget Amendment Planning Convention in Phoenix, Arizona next Tuesday have filed a resolution to begin the process of preparing for an Article V convention.

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Council breaks tie vote in former Rep. Tindell’s favor

The Knoxville City Council voted Wednesday to break a tie in recent Council primary election results and declare former state Rep. Harry Tindell winner of a place on the general election ballot, reports the News Sentinel.

In the Aug. 29 city primary, Tindell, who served 22 years as a Democrat representing House District 13, and community activist Amelia Parker both got 488 votes in the Council District 4 contest.

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ABOUT THIS BLOG

Former Knoxville News Sentinel capitol bureau chief Tom Humphrey writes about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.

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