Former Sen. Campfield, former Sheriff Hutchinson seeking state House seat

Stacey Campfield, one of the state’s more controversial legislators before losing a bid for reelection to the Senate in 2014, is one of five Republicans picking up a qualifying petition to run for the state House District 89 seat that is being vacated by Rep. Roger Kane (R-Knoxville), according to the Knox County Election Commission. Another is former Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchinson.

Campfield, who will celebrate his 50th birthday in June, served as representative in House District 18 before election to the Senate in 2010. Blogger Brian Hornback says Campfield advises that the district lines have changed since then and he lives within the district.

Hutchinson ran against Kane in the 2012 House District 89 GOP primary, losing by about 500 votes. He has already filed his qualifying petition. Campfield just picked his up Monday and has not returned it. The filing deadline is noon Thursday.

Also filing as Republican candidates in the district are Justin Lafferty, Jesse Nelson and Guy L. Smoak. There are two Democrats as well: Keifel A. Agostini and Coleen Martinez.

Sen. Richard Briggs, who defeated Campfield about 2-to-1 in the 2014 Republican Senate District 7 primary, has no opponent filing so far in the GOP primary. One Democrat, Jamie Ballinger, has filed in the district.

Excerpt from a News Sentinel piece recalling some of Campfield’s exploits as a legislator:

He had a reputation for getting his name called out on the likes of Comedy Central’s Colbert Report, while angering Democrats and even making some of his Republican colleagues uncomfortable.

Memorable comments and moments included: unsuccessfully trying to join the Tennessee Legislature’s Black Caucus; blaming AIDS on a gay airline pilot having sex with monkeys and saying the disease is “virtually impossible” to contract during heterosexual intercourse; and posting on his blog that “Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory signups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of mandatory signups for ‘train rides’ for Jews in the 40s.”

There were bills such as the famous “Don’t Say Gay” legislation.

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