legislators

Rep. Marc Gravitt wins GOP nod as Hamilton County register of deeds

State Rep. Marc Gravitt won the Republican nomination as Hamilton County register of deeds Tuesday, defeating Randy Johnston 7,085 votes to 4,981, reports the Times Free Press.

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Rep. Alexander wins GOP nomination as Franklin County mayor

State Rep. David Alexander defeated two fellow Republicans Tuesday to win his party nomination for Franklin County mayor, reports the Winchester Herald Chronicle.

When all 19 precincts were counted, Alexander held a 1,724-846 lead over (David) Van Buskirk with (Eric) Trussell in third place with 394 votes.

Alexander will be facing Democrat Eddie Clark in the Aug. 2 general election. Clark was running unopposed in the Democratic primary. He received 1,173 complementary votes.

Ketron wins GOP nomination for Rutherford County mayor (with no Democrat running)

State Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron won his party’s nomination to become Rutherford County mayor Tuesday in a three-candidate race. There’s no Democrat  the ballot for the general election, virtually assuring he will succeed current mayor Ernest Burgess, who is running to succeed Ketron in the Senate.

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Democrat Lee Harris, Republican David Lenoir win Shelby County mayor nominations

Senate Democratic Leader Lee Harris won the Democratic nomination for mayor of Shelby County on Tuesday while David Lenoir, now county trustee, won the Republican nomination, according to final unofficial returns.

Harris, who is not seeking reelection to his state Senate seat, defeated former county commissioner Sidney Chism 34,081 votes to 10,425 votes in the Democratic primary. The GOP primary was also lopsided with Lenoir collecting 18,408 votes to 8,655 for runner-up Terry Roland in the three-candidate contest.

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Ex-pro wrestler ‘Kane’ wins Knox County mayor primary; state Rep. Kane loses clerk race

Glenn Jacobs, a former professional wrestler known by the stage name “Kane,” won the Republican nomination as Knox County mayor Tuesday by 17 votes, according to final unofficial returns from the county election commission. He had 14,633 votes with runner-up Brad Angiers at 14,616 and third candidate, Bob Thomas, at 11,296.

State Rep. Roger Kane (R-Knoxville), who decided to seek election as Knox Country clerk rather than another term in the state House, lost to Sherry Witt, who is currently serving as county registrar of deeds. Witt had 23,168 votes to Kane’s 14,620.

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11th-hour push would dial up per diems for lawmakers

As the 110th General Assembly works its way toward adjournment, lawmakers are making an 11-hour push to pad their expense accounts.

As Andy Sher of the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports, the bill sponsored by House Republican Caucus Chairman Ryan Williams of Cookeville (HB1941) would stop using the federal reimbursement rate for hotels and instead use a new formula based on Nashville’s downtown business district. Williams told the House Government Operations Committee on Monday that the change would result in an additional $30 to $60 per night, depending one hotel prices. (The current federal rate is $170 per night.)

Lawmakers receive the daily hotel reimbursement regardless of the price they pay for hotels, or if they rent their own apartments when they are in town on legislative business (or even if they sleep in their offices for free).

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GOP legislators spurned renewed Haslam pitch for Medicaid expansion in private meeting

Gov.  Bill Haslam asked Republican legislative leaders earlier this month if they would reconsider Medicaid expansion legislation, which was rejected when he initially proposed the idea three years ago, reports The Tennessean. House Speaker Beth Harwell and Senate Speaker Randy McNally were open to discussing the idea but others were not and the notion was dropped.

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Rep. Harold Love Jr. running for Nashville mayor

Calling himself a “coalition builder,” Democratic state Rep. Harold Love Jr. has announced he will be running for Nashville mayor at the same time he’s running for reelection to the state House, reports The Tennessean. If he wins both races, Love says he’ll resign from the House District 58 seat.

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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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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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