elections

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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Nashville transit system rejected by voters, 64% to 36% in referendum

Nashville voters soundly rejected a proposed $5.4 billion overhaul of the city’s transit system in a referendum Tuesday. Funding would have come from a package of local tax increases.

The final unofficial totals: 79,327 against the proposal (64 percent); 44,636 for it (36 percent).

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State Elections Commission ousts commissioner for strip search joking

The State Election Commission voted Monday to remove Putnam Election Commissioner Terry Herrin from office after testimony citing his repeated joking about a woman election office employee facing a strip search, reports the Cookeville Herald Citizen.

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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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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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Supremes will decide date for Nashville mayor election

The Tennessee Supreme Court decided today to resolve a dispute over when Nashville’s election of a new mayor should take place. The Metropolitan Nashville City Council has set the vote for Aug. 2, but a lawsuit contends the vote on a full-time successor to Megan Barry, who resigned in a sex scandal, should be in May.

A lower court judge decided the August date should stand, but that was appealed with a request that the Supreme Court take up the matter promptly. In an order issued today, the Supreme Court agreed to do so and set a hearing for April 9.

The court order is HERE. Previous post HERE.

Judge rules special Nashville mayor election should be held Aug. 2

A judge Wednesday dismissed two lawsuits that sought to force an expedited special election for mayor in May, instead sticking with Aug. 2 as the date for choosing a successor to Megan Barry, who resigned in disgrace after pleading guilty to a felony.

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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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GOP senators kill Democratic push for paper ballot trail in TN voting

Republican state senators have spurned a Democratic proposal to require a paper receipt for all votes cast in Tennessee elections so there would be a paper trail to follow in case electronic voting machines are hacked, reports WPLN.

The bill (SB2090) by Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Jeff Yarbro of Nashville failed to get a seconding motion when it came up Tuesday in the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

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