presidential convention

New TNJ edition alert: State GOP executive committee update, finalists emerge from SCOTENN sweepstakes, Dole’s legacy in Tennessee

The state Capitol on March 16, 2020. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

The latest print edition of The Tennessee Journal is out. Here’s what we delve into this week:

— GOP executive committee mulls judicial candidate fees, pride coalition, presidential convention.

— Three finalists emerge for state Supreme Court vacancy after one leading candidate drops out to take top legal job in Lee administration.

— Political roundup: Bridgestone looks to turn the tables on the clawback provision, Memphis politicos leave for Nashville and don’t come back, and Slatery gets awarded.

— Obituary: Bob Dole outmaneuvered two of Tennessee’s most prominent Republicans on the national political stage.

Also: Kelvin Jones mounts an Alabama defense under questioning about buried cash, Knoxville kicks of 40th anniversary celebrations for 1982 World’s Fair, and Jon Huntsman likens Bob Corker to Led Zeppelin.

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

Blackburn to speak at Republican presidential convention

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn is speaking at the Republican presidential convention this week. She is scheduled to appear on Wednesday, the penultimate day of the event to nominate President Donald Trump to a second term.

U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) speaks at a Tennessee Titans event in Nashville on Dec. 13, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Blackburn also spoke at the 2016 presidential convention when Trump was first nominated. Here’s an excerpt of her comments that year:

Some of our greatest leaders have been people who have worked in the real world…. Leadership is not about lines on a resume. Gender, race, zip code, pedigree, lineage, hurt feelings are not qualifiers for leadership.

Blackburn isn’t the only Tennessee politician making a repeat appearance at a presidential convention this year. State Sen. Raumesh Akbari of Memphis spoke at the Democratic nomination festivities last week after doing the same in 2016.

Akbari to speak at Democratic presidential convention today

Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) takes a selfie with colleagues and Gov. Bill Lee before the start of the State of the State address in Nashville on March 4, 2019. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

State Sen. Raumesh Akbari of Memphis is one of 16 speakers deemed rising Democratic stars scheduled to speak at the party’s presidential convention to nominate Joe Biden on Tuesday.

“Amidst all of the chaos and crises our nation is facing, Democrats are focused on finding new and innovative ways to engage more Americans than ever before—because that’s how we’ll mobilize the nation to defeat Donald Trump in November,” Joe Solmonese, CEO of the 2020 Democratic National Convention, said in a release. “The convention keynote has always been the bellwether for the future of our party and our nation, and when Americans tune in next week they’ll find the smart, steady leadership we need to meet this critical moment.” 

Akbari was elected to the Senate in 2018 after previously serving in the state House since 2013. She is the chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus, former chair of the Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators, and national treasurer of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. She also spoke at the 2016 Democratic convention in support of then-nominee Hillary Clinton.

Report: GOP considering Nashville as alternate presidential convention site

Republican officials plan to tour Nashville later this week as a potential alternate site for the party’s presidential convention, Politico reports.

Other potential locations reportedly include Las Vegas, Orlando, Jacksonville, and Georgia. The move comes as questions have been raised about whether the event can be held in Charlotte, the original site for the Republican National Convention. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, has said it’s up to Republicans to demonstrate they can safely hold the convention there.

Nashville hasn’t been opened for large conventions or sporting events so far.