Democrats

Democratic PAC makes last-minute TV buy in race for Harwell seat

The independent expenditure arm of the state House Democratic Caucus is making a last-minute television ad buy in support of Bob Freeman, the Nashville Democrat running to succeed retiring House Speaker Beth Harwell.

The Tennessee Tomorrow PAC is spending $77,325 on the ads to run between Saturday and Monday. The PAC’s largest funder is real estate mogul Bill Freeman, who has donated $200,000. The elder Freeman was an unsuccessful mayoral candidate in in Nashville in 2015 despite dropping $3.5 million of his own money into the race.

Bob Freeman faces Republican Brent Moody in the House District 56 race. Harwell was re-elected in 2016 despite the district voting for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the presidential election. The race to succeed Harwell is considered the Democrats’ best chance in their efforts to pick up seats on Tuesday.

The Tennessee Tomorrow PAC has raised $530,000 since the beginning of the third quarter. Besides Bill Freeman’s $200,000, other big donations include $50,000 from the Tennessee Education Association, $50,000 from Laroche Enterprises, and $20,000 each from Friends of Darren Jernigan, George Bright, Mike Stewart, and the U.S. Rep Jim Cooper’s PAC.

Democrat Tate gets endorsement from GOP’s Matheny

As state Sen. Reginald Tate fights to hold on to his Memphis seat in a tight Democratic primary, an endorsement from the likes of state Rep. Judd Matheny, a Republican congressional candidate, might not exactly be high on his wish list.But that’s what Tate got from the Tullahoma Republican, who called him “a fine man that understands the plight of African Americans.” Mantheny, who once questioned whether a mop sink in a Capitol restroom was a Muslim foot bath, also mentions that he and Tate toured Europe to “study Islam.”

Tate has been trying to fend off criticism in his heavily-Democratic district that he has been took keen to work with Republicans in the legislature. He faces Katrina Robinson, a business owner and nurse in the Aug. 2 primary.

Dean, Fitzhugh clash on charter schools, NRA and fed flood money

In a head-to-head Nashville debate, the two leading Democrats in Tennessee’s gubernatorial race tussled during a debate Tuesday over charter schools, the National Rifle Association and one candidate’s use of federal flood money to build a downtown Nashville amphitheater, reports the Associated Press.

State House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh quickly questioned ex-Nashville Mayor Karl Dean’s history of charter school support. Fitzhugh pointed out he has the endorsement of the Tennessee Education Association teachers group.

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Craig Fitzhugh has a TV ad

 

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Bredesen, Alabama Sen. Doug Jones talk bipartisanship at Democratic fundraiser; $450K collected

In Saturday night speeches to the Tennessee Democratic Party’s Three Star Dinner, Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and former Gov. Phil Bredesen struck similar themes, saying a willingness to work with Republicans is the way to change Democrats’ political fortunes in the Volunteer state. Party officials say about $450,000 was raised at the event in Lebanon.

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Judge rules Cohen opponent can run in Democratic primary, contrary to state party action

Shelby County Chancellor Walter Evans has ruled that M. LaTroy Alexandria-Williams can run as a Democrat against U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in the August primary, reports the Commercial Appeal.

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Dean and Fitzhugh on the stump: ‘It’s our turn’ and Democrats are excited

Excerpt of comments by Democratic gubernatorial candidates Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh to the Maury County Democratic Party’s annual fundraising dinner on Saturday night, as reported by Columbia Daily Herald Editor James Bennett:

(The piece begins with Bennett declaring there was a remarkable attitude contrast with the same event held prior to the 2016 elections — Democrats then “were walking around with their tails between their legs” while this year “Democrats were sticking out their chests and making bold predictions about 2018.”)

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Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators endorses Fitzhugh for governor

Press release from Craig Fitzhugh campaign

 Memphis, TN – Today, Members of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators have formally announced their endorsement for Craig Fitzhugh for Tennessee Governor.  In making the announcement, members called Fitzhugh a long-time ally of the Caucus and said he has worked diligently with black legislators during (his) legislative tenure.

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Bob Clement and Lincoln Davis take different sides in Democratic primary for 7th Congressional District seat

Former Democratic congressmen Bob Clement and Lincoln Davis are taking opposing sides in their party’s 7th Congressional District primary where Republican state Sen. Mark Green is unopposed for the Republican nomination to succeed U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn.

Clement, who served as 5th Congressional District from 1988 until 2003, is backing Justin Kanew, a film writer and producer from College Grove in Williamson County  Davis, who was the 4th Congressional District representative from 2003 until 2011, is backing Matt Reel of Primm Springs in Hickman County.

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County mayor drops Democratic affiliation after endorsing GOP’s Boyd for governor

Gibson County Mayor Tom Witherspoon, twice elected as a Democrat, is running for reelection as an independent after complaints about his public endorsement of Republican Randy Boyd in the governor’s race, reports Tennessee Star. He had initially filed a petition to run as a Democrat.

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