special elections

Former Rep. Fincher endorses Rose in special state Senate election

The primary for the special election to succeed former state Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris  is on Thursday. The race features one Republican candidate from Tipton County (businessman Paul Rose) and three from Shelby County (former Commissioners George Chism and Heidi Shafer and former state Rep. Steve McManus).

Rose has landed the endorsement of former U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher along with a host of other officials and luminaries.

“His conservative credentials as a small business owner and strong background as a man of faith make him exactly what Shelby and Tipton counties need in a state senator,” Fincher said in a release.

Full release after the jump.

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She’s back! Kurita selected as interim state senator

Former Sen. Rosalind Kurita, whom Democrats stripped of their party’s nomination after she broke ranks to vote for Republican Ron Ramsey to become Senate speaker in 2007, has been appointed as an interim replacement for Sen. Mark Green (R-Ashland City) after his election to Congress.

The Leaf Chronicle of Clarksville reports Kurita emerged the winner Monday after 13 rounds of voting by the Montgomery County Commission.

“It feels wonderful to be selected by the County Commission, and I appreciate the support I have received here this evening,” Kurita told the paper.

Kurita is expected to caucus with the Republican supermajority. She said she won’t be a candidate in the special election to fill the remainder of Green’s term (the primary is March 7 and the general election is on April 23).

The year after voting for Ramsey (the chamber was tied 16-16 with one independent at the time, making hers a crucial vote), Kurita survived a primary challenge from fellow Clarksville Democrat Tim Barnes by all of 19 votes. Barnes filed a challenge with the Democratic Executive Committee, with his attorneys contending that “Republicans crossed over en masse.”

Kurita’s lawyers argued the crossover wasn’t out of the ordinary. But after a day-long hearing that also included allegations that Barnes voters were directed to vote in the Republican primary and that Kurita had violated the 100-foot barrier in polling place (to go to the restroom, her attorneys said, deriding the allegation as “potty gate”), the Democratic panel voted 33-11 to strip Kurita of the nomination on the basis of the outcome of the primary having become “incurably uncertain.” She mounted a write-in
campaign, but lost to Barnes, 62% to 39%.

Kurita was a candidate for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in 2006, but bowed out before the primary.

Ramsey appears pleased with Kurita’s appointment: