Here’s who the TSEA isn’t endorsing in the primaries

The House meets at the state Capitol in Nashville on June 1, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The Tennessee State Employees Association has announced its endorsements in legislative primaries around the state. The TSEA gave the nod to the 11 incumbents running for re-election in the Senate and 58 sitting members in the House.

The group endorsed former Rep. Page Walley in the Republican primary for the open Senate 26 seat against former Agriculture Commissioner Jai Templeton. It also gave the nod to former Rep. Scotty Campbell over National Guard Lt. Col. Neal Kerney in the GOP primary to succeed Rep. Timothy Hill (R-Blountville).

The list of members who did not receive a TSEA endorsement includes some prominent members like House Majority Leader William Lamberth, House Minority Leader Karen Camper, House Republican Caucus Chairman Jeremy Faison, and Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Ken Yager.

The TSEA said further endorsements will follow after the primary.

The early voting period for the Aug. 6 contests begins on Friday.

Here’s the full list of incumbents who didn’t get the TSEA endorsement (for the ones who did, click here):


  • District 8: Frank Niceley (R-Strawberry Plains)
  • District 10: Todd Gardenhire (R-Chattanooga)
  • District 12: Ken Yager (R-Kingston)


  • District 1: John Crawford (R-Kingsport)
  • District 5: David Hawk (R-Greeneville)
  • District 9: Gary Hicks (R-Rogersville)
  • District 10: Rick Eldridge (R-Morristown)
  • District 11: Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby)
  • District 12: Dale Carr (R-Sevierville)
  • District 21: Lowell Russell (R-Vonore)
  • District 26: Robin Smith (R-Hixson)
  • District 28: Yusuf Hakeem (D-Chattanooga)
  • District 29: Mike Carter (R-Ooltewah)
  • District 33: John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge)
  • District 39: Iris Rudder (R-Winchester)
  • District 41: John Mark Windle (D-Livingston)
  • District 44: William Lamberth (R-Portland)
  • District 46: Clark Boyd (R-Lebanon)
  • District 47: Rush Bricken (R-Tullahoma)
  • District 50: Bo Mitchell (D-Nashville)
  • District 51: Bill Beck (D-Nashville)
  • District 53: Jason Powell (D-Nashville)
  • District 55: John Ray Clemmons (D-Nashville)
  • District 58: Harold Love (D-Nashville)
  • District 59: Jason Potts (D-Nashville)
  • District 62: Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville)
  • District 68: Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville)
  • District 81: Debra Moody (R-Covington)
  • District 87: Karen Camper (D-Memphis)
  • District 89: Justin Lafferty (R-Knoxville)
  • District 92: Rick Tillis (R-Lewisburg)
  • District 94: Ron Gant (R-Rossville)

20 Responses to Here’s who the TSEA isn’t endorsing in the primaries

  • Avatar
    James White says:

    No to Page Walley.

  • Avatar
    Not that Stuart guy says:

    Here’s one reason I left TSEA. A noble organization, and as close to a union as state employees will ever get, but with no “cajones” when it comes to endorsements.

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    Amy Green says:

    Please clarify this post. It appears you have the list of endorsed listed as NOT endorsed.

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    Beatrice Shaw says:

    the Education Association is a GREAT organization. They have helped me in so many ways when principals and superintendents tried to strong arm me in the classroom.

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    Susan E Gingrich #Patriots Reborn says:

    A union or association endorsing anyone is a red flag for me. I do my own homework and make my own decisions, because my freedom depends on it.

    • Avatar
      John says:

      Me too. NYC Democrat Trump was endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police Union and the National Border Patrol Council labor Union and now look at his liberal SCOTUS justices. Never trust a Union.

  • Avatar
    sarah Adair says:

    As the former lobbyist for TSEA, I feel you have misrepresented this information. You have failed to reference how the endorsement process is handled. TSEA will endorse many of these legislators and I am sure they are already working with the campaigns. The PAC endorses in the primary and then in the general. All of these candidate endorsements will come out after the primary. I suggest you contact the organization before publishing information in a false light.

    And, for all these comments to this article. TSEA is not a union. No one has to be a member, and nothing prohibits members from individually endorsing and campaigning for people on their own time.

  • Avatar
    Cannoneer2 says:

    Tennessee state employees need a union that’s just as powerful as the Chamber of Commerce.

  • Avatar
    Steve Cates says:

    That is certainly true, Cannoneer2!

    • Avatar
      Beatrice Shaw says:

      Unions are the strength that holds us together against abusive managers and wealthy people.

      • Avatar
        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        Sorry Beatrice, I can’t help but wonder, you are such a screaming leftist did you ever have a child with conservative views in your class? Did you immediately begin to conduct a show trial or send the child to a re-education camp or its modern day U. S. equivalent “sensitivity training”? I just picture myself in high school with a social studies teacher like you. . .I would never have graduated.

        • Avatar
          MARLE says:

          Yes Stuart, Lenny would have made your high school years hell. (you realize he disappeared when B showed up).

  • Avatar
    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    Business has the Chamber. The state bureaucrats have their union. Who do the taxpayer’s have?

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