Mae Beavers

Read Susan Lynn’s public apology to Mae Beavers

As first reported in the print edition of the The Tennessee Journal, the yearslong acrimony between Rep. Susan Lynn and former Sen. Mae Beavers (both R-Mt. Juliet) appears to have reached a conclusion of sorts.

Lynn, who was chair of the powerful House Finance Committee under then-Speaker Glen Casada, is running a public apology in Wilson County newspapers. The move comes after Beavers sued Lynn in 2019 for allegedly spreading rumors about Beavers breaking into her home and trying to have her killed.

When Beavers announced plans to run for Wilson County mayor in 2010, Lynn promptly declared she would run for the vacated Senate seat. But Beavers changed her mind and ran for re-election instead, claiming victory by 6 points. Lynn later won back the House seat she had given up to run for the upper chamber.

Beavers resigned her seat in the Senate to run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 2018. But she dropped out of the contest, endorsing longshot candidate Bill Lee’s status as an outsider who, like Donald Trump on the national level, would “take on the permanent political class in Nashville.” Nearly a year after he took office, Lee named Beavers to the Board of Parole.

New TNJ edition alert: The end or the beginning on FBI probe?

Then-House Speaker Glen Casada (R-Franklin), right, meets with colleagues on the Senate floor on May 1, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The latest edition of The Tennessee Journal is out. Here is what’s in it:

— Are indictments the conclusion of FBI probe or opening gambit?

— Casada poised to lose legislative pension if he strikes plea deal.

— From the campaign trail: FEC flags filings for errors – but nothing yet on Andy Ogles, a temporary replacement for Mike Bell, and a soft landing for Amy Weirich.

— Obituary: Former longtime state research chief dies at 89.

Also: Bartlett puts ordinance seeking to limit campaign signs on hold, Shelby County clerk takes issue with being called AWOL for Jamaica trip, Asian-American groups oppose Biden’s nominee for federal prosecutor in the Eastern District, and Susan Lynn is sorry about all those things she said about Mae Beavers.

As always, access the your copy of the TNJ here.

Or subscribe here.

Beavers, Pody complain about PAC billboard criticizing them

A recently-formed political action committee has placed a billboard on a Wilson County highway criticizing former state Sen. Mae Beavers and her successor, Sen. Mark Pody, for voting against Gov. Bill Haslam’s 2017 “IMPROVE Act.” The two conservative Republicans, both currently engaged in political campaigns, complain that the billboard unfairly links traffic accidents and fatalities on the highway to their vote, reports The Tennessean.

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Mae Beavers endorses Bill Lee for GOP gubernatorial nomination

Former state Sen. Mae Beavers of Mount Juliet, who abandoned a run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination earlier this year and is now running for mayor of Wilson County, has endorsed Williamson County businessman Bill Lee in the governor’s race.

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Campaign finance complaint against Mae Beavers dismissed

The Registry of Election Finance board has unanimously voted to dismiss a complaint that accused former state Sen. Mae Beavers of violating campaign finance laws in the handling of leftover money from her abandoned gubernatorial campaign, reports Tennessee Star. Beavers said the complaint was “politically motivated.”

She had used $122,123 from her gubernatorial campaign to launch a new political action committee, which then donated $7,800 to current campaign for Wilson County mayor – a donation she subsequently refunded after it was initially disclosed.

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Report: Mae Beavers’ husband uses epithet against critic

The husband of former Republican gubernatorial hopeful Mae Beavers used a derogatory epithet against a woman who questioned campaign finance issues related to her bid for Wilson County mayor.

The Lebanon Democrat reports that Jerry Beavers stood up and accused the questioner, Dolores Mackey, of being a troublemaker.

“The room seemed surprised, and as he sat down, he mumbled ‘stupid bitch,’” Mackey said.

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Complaint: Beavers illegally diverted gubernatorial campaign funds to her mayoral campaign

Former state Sen.  Mae Beavers used $122,123 in leftover money from her abandoned gubernatorial campaign to fund a new political action committee and the PAC then donated $7,800 to her new campaign for Wilson County mayor, according to a disclosure report filed Monday by Patriot PAC. The Tennessean reports that Beavers refunded the contribution on Wednesday, but a a complaint has been filed contending the move amounted to an “illegal conduit” that violated state campaign finance laws.

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Mae Beavers running for Wilson County mayor

Mae Beavers, who resigned from the state Senate last year to make a short-lived run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, has obtained a qualifying petition to now run for Wilson County mayor, reports the Wilson Post.

She will face Incumbent Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, who has already filed his qualifying petition. Another potential candidate, Bob Richie, has picked up a petition but has not filed, according to the county election commission office.

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Gubernatorial contributions in one handy chart

Here is a look at the gubernatorial campaign finance reports for the second half of 2017, free of the candidates’ press release spin:

Party Candidate From outside sources From self / transfer Spent On hand
R* Beavers $163,947 $0 $51,931 $167,410
R Black $1,739,523 $1,000,000 $987,761 $1,735,523
R Boyd $1,250,326 $2,000,000 $2,663,897 $4,095,658
D Dean $1,245,245 $200,000 $630,933 $1,807,204
D Fitzhugh $304,513 $500,000 $134,733 $681,856
R Harwell $1,186,398 $4,026,204 $160,898 $5,055,115
R Lee $904,743 $908,000 $595,987 $3,744,430

Beavers suspended her campaign this week. Harwell’s total in the “from self” column includes a $3.1 million loan, plus $918,204 in the form of a transfer from her legislative account and a contribution from her PAC.

This post has been updated to reflect $7,850 in returned contributions from the Dean campaign and $9,500 from the Boyd campaign.

Beavers exit came after reporting poor fundraising in run for governor

Former Sen. Mae Beavers suspension of her campaign for governor came after filing a financial disclosure showing she had raised a modest $163,947 in the past six months.

She reported spending $51,931 through Jan. 10 and a cash-on-hand balance of $167,409.  In her first  gubernatorial campaign disclosure, filed last July, Beavers reported receiving $56,771 — $40,000 of that transferred from her old state Senate campaign account.

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