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.

The special election was held to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville), who took a U.S. Department of Agriculture job in the Donald Trump administration. Tracy had defeated Jordan in the 2016 general election with 53,082 votes to 18,259 – generally ignoring the Democrat in his campaign.

In contrast, businessman Reeves had waged an aggressive campaign, outspending Jordan by $300,000 and attacking the Murfreesboro attorney as a “radical liberal” and atheist with help from the state Republican party and GOP officeholders including U.S. Reps. Marsha Blackburn and Scott DesJarlais.

The lopsided results also contrast with a December state Senate special election that Republican Sen. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) won by just 308 votes over the Democratic nominee.

Further, from the Murfreesboro Post:

In Rutherford (County), Reeves won 5,191 votes, 66 percent, to 2,614, 33 percent, for Jordan with all 13 precincts reporting.

Reeves won 72 percent to 28 percent in Lincoln County; 67 percent to 23 percent in Bedford; 65 percent to 35 percent in Marshall County; and 67 percent to 23 percent in Moore County.

“Everything must have just come together, the right team, the right message, the right volunteers,” Reeves said afterward at Five Senses restaurant, his election headquarters. “I had 50 people volunteering for us the last few days, making phone calls, working the doors. And in the last week, as well, we went back on TV and radio, we got very loud as far as promoting the campaign. And, ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s the district, how the district feels like who I am aligned with them.”

Reeves is set to be sworn in Thursday at 9 a.m. by Senior Judge Don Ash at the State Capitol, giving him about a month in office before the 110th General Assembly adjourns.

Despite the lopsided outcome, Jordan spoke to a screaming and cheering crowd at MayDay Brewery in Murfreesboro.

“The results feel skewed, they feel like they don’t show the work that we have done,” said Jordan, an attorney who works in federal mediation. “But I will tell you we have made progress. In our little rural district, we are having conversations about religious liberty. In our little, rural district we are having conversations about cannabis. In our little, rural district we are having conversations about educational inequality, which some of our folks have learned about for the first time and understanding why it matters that we have broadband.”

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