Nashville, Knoxville newspapers endorse legislative candidates

The Tennessean and the Knoxville News Sentinel have made some endorsements in legislative races, while not endorsing a candidate in the presidential race this year. Otherwise, most papers appear to be steering clear of editorially taking sides in legislative campaigns.

The Tennessean is endorsing two Republicans:  Sen. Steve Dickerson in Senate District 20, who faces a serious challenge from Democrat Erin Coleman and House Speaker Beth Harwell in House District 56, who is heavily favored over Democrat Chris Moth, who she defeated handily two years ago.

The others endorsed are Democrats: Rep. Bo Mitchell in House District 50; Rep. Jason Powell in House District 53; Trish Farmer in House District 57 (now held by Republican Rep. Susan Lynn);  Rep. Darren Jernigan in House District 60; Courtenay Rogers in House District 63 (now held by House Republican Caucus Chairman Glen Casada); and Holly McCall in House District 65 (where former Rep. Jeremy Durham was expelled from office and Sam Whitson is the GOP nominee).

The newspaper’s endorsement list is HERE.

Perhaps most notable of the News Sentinel endorsements in Knox County legislative campaigns is the blessing bestowed upon Republican Rep. Eddie Smith, who faces a rematch with former Democratic Rep. Gloria Johnson in House District 13. The newspaper in 2014 endorsed Johnson, who lost to Smith in a squeaker election that is likely to be very close again this year.

Otherwise, the newspaper is also backing Republican incumbents withone notable exception. That’s in House District 18, where Democrat Brandi Price is supported over Rep. Martin Daniel.

Incumbent Republicans supported by the newspaper over Democratic opponents include Reps. Roger Kane in House District 89, Jason Zachary in House District 14, Jimmy Matlock in House District 21, Kent Calfee in House District 32, John Ragan in House District 33 – all heavily favored. (There’s a separate endorsement editorial for candidates outside Knox County, HERE.)

Note: This post initially had the wrong endorsement in District 89. It has been corrected.

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