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    Sumner County Democratic Party

    TNDP News April 6th

    April 6th, 2018 by Andrew Hoover

    TNDP NEWS
    Tennessee Democrats Step Up to Run in Record Numbers

    TN US SENATE NEWS
    Sen. Lamar Alexander visits Johnson City in search of ideas to stop opioid epidemic
    Lamar Alexander endorses Marsha Blackburn’s U.S. Senate bid

    TN US HOUSE NEWS
    Memphis officials unveil I Am A Man Plaza next to Clayborn Temple
    TN STATE LEGISLATURE NEWS
    August primary candidates: Former Johnson City mayor challenging Van Huss
    Herenton Says He Wants to Be Mayor Again
    State Rep. Harold Love Jr. says he’s running for Nashville mayor
    Races stack with candidates as qualifying deadline ends

    TNDP NEWS
    Tennessee Democrats Step Up to Run in Record Numbers
    Democrats will be on the ballot to contest nearly every state legislature seat
    April 6, 2018 (NASHVILLE, Tenn.) — Following yesterday’s filing deadline to secure a spot on the ballot for the 2018 midterm elections, Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini released the following statement:
    “We’re proud, motivated, and excited to have the largest class of Tennessee Democrats stepping up to run for office in recent memory,” Mancini said. “Tennesseans want a government that works for them, and with current leadership, that’s just not happening. These Democratic candidates are running to put our values into action. They want to stop more rural hospitals from closing, so parents are able to take their child to the hospital if they break an arm. They want everyone to be able to receive an education that fits their vision for the future; they want everyone to be able to find a good-paying job and retire in dignity and security. Now more than ever, we look forward to electing more Democrats who will work to make our state a place where all Tennesseans have the opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their families.”
    Background: A Democrat has filed to be on the ballot in 97 of the 99 state house districts across Tennessee and 15 of 17 senate districts, leaving fewer races uncontested than in any election cycle in recent memory. Watch our joint announcement here.

    US SENATE NEWS
    Sen. Lamar Alexander visits Johnson City in search of ideas to stop opioid epidemic
    In search of ideas and advice to combat the opioid epidemic, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) toured Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City on Thursday before a round table meeting with local leaders and representatives from Ballad Health.
    Alexander also highlighted bipartisan legislation released yesterday, which he says will “help address the urgent opioid crisis.”
    The legislation, dubbed the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018, would aim to spur development of non-addictive painkillers, enhance cooperative data-sharing between states and improve the detection and seizure of illegal drugs at the border, among other things.
    And while Alexander is pursuing a federal initiative to curb opioid abuse, he says action has to happen at the local level for any progress to be made.
    “So much of the action will have to be done by Ballad, and the children’s hospital, and the judges and mayors that I talked with today,” Alexander said.
    Ballad Health President and CEO Alan Levine offered support for Alexander’s efforts, and added that the business community of the Tri-Cities needs to make a unified push for economic growth in order for people battling addiction to have hope for a better future.
    “Ballad Health is not going to participate in anymore small ball, inter-family fights within the region,” Levine told WCYB. “We are going to invest our resources where it will help grow our region as a whole.”
    Sen. Alexander says fighting the opioid epidemic is one mission Republicans and Democrats can agree on, and he hopes new legislation will give states the financial support they need on the front lines.
    Lamar Alexander endorses Marsha Blackburn’s U.S. Senate bid
    U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is endorsing Marsha Blackburn’s bid for the U.S. Senate.

    The former governor and longtime Republican senator made the announcement on social media Thursday, saying Blackburn, a Brentwood-based congressman, has served the state well.
    “I look forward to working with her to make the Senate a more effective institution,” he said on Twitter, using his official campaign account.

    U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander is endorsing Marsha Blackburn’s bid for the U.S. Senate.
    The former governor and longtime Republican senator made the announcement on social media Thursday, saying Blackburn, a Brentwood-based congressman, has served the state well.
    “I look forward to working with her to make the Senate a more effective institution,” he said on Twitter, using his official campaign account.
    Alexander’s announcement came hours after Middle Tennessee State University released a poll indicating that the Blackburn is down 10 percentage points to former Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat.
    The two are largely expected to square off in closely watched bid for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Bob Corker, who announced his plans to retire in September.
    Speaking to reporters at the state Capitol on Thursday, Corker said he did not have any immediate plans to make an endorsement in the race.
    “Just like in the governor’s race that’s underway right now, it’s always been my plan anyway to endorse after a primary is over,” he said

    US HOUSE NEWS
    Memphis officials unveil I Am A Man Plaza next to Clayborn Temple
    The city of Memphis officially unveiled its I Am A Man Plaza on Thursday next to Clayborn Temple, a key rallying point for the historic 1968 Memphis sanitation strike.
    Coming a day after MLK50, the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder in Memphis, the dedication ceremony drew a crowd of more than 200 people to the plaza, which features a large sculpture of the “I Am A Man” slogan made famous by the 1968 strike, and a wall with the names of 1,300 strikers, among other artworks.
    The plaza is a space for everyone to reflect on the cost of justice, said Cliff Garten, a California-based designer whose proposal was chosen from 100 options. Although Garten was white, several black-owned firms were involved in the project, including architect John Jackson of Memphis and Allworld Project Management.
    “It’s a place to teach, a place to gather, to feel and reflect on these historic events,” Garten said.
    The ceremony, moderated by city Chief Operations Officer Doug McGowen, was also an opportunity to celebrate deceased philanthropist Abe Plough, who gave money to end the sanitation strike and who founded the Plough Foundation, Mayor Jim Strickland said. The foundation helped fund the cost of the plaza, which included $800,000 from the city.
    “As we move forward from this day, I hope this space becomes a place for Memphians to reflect,” Strickland said.
    The ceremony is also about passing the baton to the next generation, said Elliot Perry, a grandson to one of the strikers. African-Americans are “at the bottom” of many lists, from health care to income, and he quoted King as saying social structures that produce beggars need “restructuring.”
    “I’m grateful to be here,” he said, acknowledging how his generation stands on the shoulders of the strikers. “To the sanitation workers, thank you, thank you, thank you.”
    Recalling her own grandfather, a postal worker whose dream to be a sports illustrator was crushed by racists, National Civil Rights Museum President Terri Freeman said the future of the movement is to “pay it forward,” using voices and votes to make changes.
    “We have the ability to put in who we need — and take out who we don’t,” she said of public offices.
    Memphis city councilman Berlin Boyd said his hope was that the plaza’s tribute to the sanitation strike inspires positive changes, not just in Memphis but around the world.
    “Too many times, we sit back on the sidelines hoping for change instead of standing for change,” Boyd said.
    The program included an impersonation by Phil Darrius Wallace of King giving his “Mountaintop” sermon and — after technical difficulties — a soaring, soulful, a cappella musical performance by Karen Brown of Memphis.
    Strickland, Boyd, several surviving strikers and others helped cut the ribbon, officially opening the plaza to the public, which up until that point was separated from the plaza and the dignitaries, including U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, council members Martavius Jones and Joe Brown, and former member Michael Hooks Sr.
    The National Trust for Historic Preservation hosted an open house event immediately following at Clayborn Temple.
    TN STATE LEGISLATURE NEWS
    August primary candidates: Former Johnson City mayor challenging Van Huss

    Former Johnson City Mayor Steve Darden will face incumbent state Rep. Micah Van Huss, R-Jonesborough, for the 6th District seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives.
    Darden, now the managing partner of a law firm, served 10 years on the City Commission, from 2001 to 2011. His last two years on the commission was to fill the unexpired term of Phil Roe, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008.
    “Tennessee does not end in Knoxville, yet sometimes it seems that we continue to be treated by some in the state capital as if it did,” Darden said. “We need a representative who has what it takes to get things done on the state level. My business background, my law practice and my record of success in the real world and in local leadership show that I can be such a representative.”
    Van Huss was first elected to the 6th House District seat in 2012, and is seeking re-election to a fourth term in Nashville. The winner of the Aug. 2 Republican Primary will face Democratic candidate Justin R. Leslie and Murphey Johnson, an independent candidate, in the Nov. 6 general election.
    In the 7th House District race, incumbent Matthew Hill is running unopposed in the Republican primary. East Tennessee State University senior and Roan Scholar Nathan Farnor is the sole Democratic challenger for Hill’s seat.
    Four candidates, including two incumbents, filed petitions to run for three District 1 openings on the Washington County Board of Education. The District 3 race, also with three seats up for grabs, has one incumbent and four newcomers, including current Washington County Commissioner and Finance Director Mitch Meredith.
    With the unexpected death of First Judicial District Attorney General Tony Clark on March 25, the qualifying deadline for election of a new District Attorney to fill the four remaining four years of Clark’s unexpired eight-year was also set for Thursday.
    Ken Baldwin, who was sworn in as Attorney General Pro Tem on Tuesday, was the only candidate to qualify and will run opposed in the August general election in Washington, Carter, Unicoi and Johnson counties.
    Candidates running on the August ballot have until April 12 to withdraw.
    1st Judicial District Attorney General
    • Kenneth C Baldwin, Independent
    Juvenile Judge/Johnson City
    • Sharon M. Green, Independent
    County School Board District 1
    • Kerrie Aistrop Independent
    • Annette Buchanan, Independent
    • Jason Day, Independent
    • Keith R Ervin, Independent
    County School Board District 3
    • Donald Feathers, Independent
    • Chad Fleenor, Independent
    • David Hammond, Independent
    • Trevor L. Knight, Independent
    • Mitch Meredith, Independent
    Democratic State Executive Committeewoman
    • Debbie McClaskey, Democrat
    Democratic State Executive Committeeman
    • No candidates qualified
    Republican State Executive Committeewoman
    • Sharon Fletcher Boreing, Republican
    • Anita Hodges Taylor, Republican
    • Betty J Ziesel, Republican
    Republican State Executive Committeeman
    • Todd Fowler, Republican
    TN State Senator (state)
    • Rusty Crowe, Republican
    TN U.S. Representative 1st District
    • Phil Roe, Republican
    • George Brimer (Cocke County), Republican
    • James Brooks, Republican
    • Todd McKinley, Republican
    • Marty Olsen, Democrat
    TN State Representative 6th District
    • Steve Darden, Republican
    • Micah Van Huss, Republican
    • Justin R. Leslie, Democrat
    • Murphey Johnson, Independent
    TN State Representative 7th District
    • Matthew Hill, Republican
    • Nathan Farnor, Democrat
    Herenton Says He Wants to Be Mayor Again
    Former Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton says he intends to run for mayor again in the 2019 city elections.
    Herenton told an audience at LeMoyne-Owen College Thursday, April 5, that he wants to return to offer leadership to “a young emerging group” of leaders.
    “I’m going back to City Hall,” said Herenton, who was elected to five terms as mayor and served from January 1992 until he retired during his fifth term on July 31, 2009. “We have some plans and I’m not speaking disparagingly of the present leadership – not at all. I’m simply saying where we are today … and the plight of the young is going to require a very different kind of leader.”
    Herenton was the longest serving mayor in the city’s history. After leaving the mayor’s office, he ran in the Democratic primary for the U.S. House, unsuccessfully challenging incumbent Democrat Steve Cohen. He has also been involved in a set of charter schools and has been advocating for a charter school for juvenile offenders in Shelby County.
    Since he last ran for mayor in 2007, the city charter has been amended by referendum setting term limits of no more than two consecutive terms of office for Memphis City Council members and the Memphis mayor.
    Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland is expected to seek re-election in 2019.
    Herenton acknowledged that some of the new generation of political activists have complained that the city hasn’t grown economically despite having a black mayor and other black elected leaders.
    “None of us are proud of the fact that the Memphis metropolitan area … is designated as having the highest poverty rate,” he said. “Even today with black leadership, the challenges we face, they are very deep. Generational poverty … we have some social problems here that are long term.”
    State Rep. Harold Love Jr. says he’s running for Nashville mayor
    Tennessee state Rep. Harold Love Jr., D-Nashville, a Methodist pastor with a name that goes back decades in city politics, entered Nashville’s mayoral race Thursday, becoming the last major entry into the field.
    Calling himself a “coalition-builder,” Love, who has served in the state legislature since 2012, confirmed his intent to run to The Tennessean after submitting his qualifying petition to the Davidson County Election Commission late Wednesday.
    His entry means that two of Nashville’s top elected African-American political leaders — Love and At-large Councilwoman Erica Gilmore — are both set to challenge Mayor David Briley in the Aug. 2 election.
    “I really began to ask myself, who could get in the office and do something very effective in a short time frame?” Love said, noting that the August winner will only hold the seat for one year until the August 2019 mayoral election.
    He pointed to his work in the state legislature on education and expanding access to health care — two issues he said he would prioritize as mayor.
    “I thought I would be the best person to carry out those ideas and also be a good coalition-builder as we look toward these and other problems in our city,” Love said.
    Love, whose district includes parts of North Nashville, Bordeaux, Edgehill and East Nashville, had been rumored as a possible candidate for weeks.
    The deadline to qualify to run for mayor passed at noon on Thursday. At least 11 candidates have qualified to run. The election was triggered when former Mayor Megan Barry resigned last month.
    Candidates who qualified still have one week to withdraw to avoid having their names appear on a ballot, meaning the list could narrow. But Love said he will remain in the race.
    “I’m in,” he said.
    Love has also qualified to run for re-election for his state House seat. That primary election is also set for Aug. 2. He said if we wins the mayor’s race and his state House primary, he would vacate his House seat before that seat’s general election in November.
    Love, 45, is pastor of Lee Chapel AME Church in North Nashville, where he also resides. He’s the son of Harold Love Sr., a former Metro councilman and longtime Democratic state representative.
    Love Jr.’s rise to the House District 58 seat began in 2012 when he narrowly beat incumbent Rep. Mary Pruitt in the Democratic primary.
    In terms of priorities, he also pointed to expanded opportunities for the whole city.
    “One thing we hear resoundingly is some portions of Nashville feel as though they have been left out, not just when it comes to growth and development but policy-making,” Love said.
    He said he hasn’t formed a final position on the upcoming May 1 referendum on funding a $5.4 billion transit plan — a project backed by Briley and Gilmore but opposed by other candidates in the race.
    Love said that although he voted last year for the IMPROVE Act, giving cities like Nashville the power to hold referendums on transit funding, he is concerned that Nashville’s proposal would too heavily rely on a sales tax increase. The plan calls for raising sales tax by a half-cent initially before graduating to a 1-cent hike in 2023.
    He said he supports components of the plan, including the expansion of the city’s bus system and the fee reduction for low-income bus riders.
    Love’s base is in the city’s African-American neighborhoods, but he said he believes he can compete countywide, pointing to the diverse neighborhoods and multiple colleges and universities in his House district.
    “To me, that district is representative of the city,” Love said. “My objective is to campaign on the fact that I have passed legislation that has helped Nashville.
    “That is what I’m going to run on — my record of passing legislation and coalition building over these last five and a half years.”
    Love is starting in a hole fundraising, with Briley announcing Wednesday that he has raised $400,000 for his bid. Love estimated that he would need to raise only $300,000 for his campaign.
    A lifelong Nashvillian, Love attended Tennessee State University for undergraduate studies and received a master’s degree in theological studies at Vanderbilt University and a PhD in public policy from Tennessee State University.
    In addition to Briley, Gilmore and Love, other candidates who have qualified include former Metro Councilman Roy Dale, conservative commentator and ex-Vanderbilt professor Carol Swain, former conservative radio host Ralph Bristol, and jeff obafemi carr, a consultant for the anti-transit referendum political action committee NoTax4Tracks.
    Races stack with candidates as qualifying deadline ends

    Races are nearly set for this year’s county general and state primary elections as qualifying for candidates ended Thursday at noon.
    Wilson County will have several seats up for election, including Wilson County mayor and all 25 Wilson County Commission seats. Other offices include trustee, sheriff, circuit court clerk, county clerk, register of deeds and five constables.
    The Lebanon Special School District Board of Education will have one at-large seat up for election, while Wilson County Board of Education zones 2, 4 and 6 will be on ballots.
    Former state Sen. Mae Beavers will challenge incumbent Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto. Hutto has served as Wilson County mayor since 2010, while Beavers served as Wilson County commissioner from 1990-94 before she served in both houses of the Tennessee legislature until last year.
    Seven current Wilson County commissioners will run opposed this year, including Bobby Franklin in District 3; Terry Scruggs in District 7; Sara Patton in District 9; John Gentry in District 11; Terry Ashe in District 12, Gary Keith in District 17; and William Glover in District 19.
    Six districts will have new representatives as current commissioners chose not to seek re-election, including Becky Siever in District 1; Adam Bannach in District 2; Jeff Joines in District 14; Mike Justice in District 15; Cindy Brown in District 21; and Jim Emberton in District 25.
    Robert Fields will challenge Tim Roehler in District 1, while Howard Blaydes, Cyndi Bannach and Jeff Hartline seek the District 2 seat. Tommy Jones, Bob Clarke and Michael Ramsey will battle in the District 14 race, and Chris Dowell and Charmaine Major will run for the District 15 seat.
    Mike Kurtz will face Eugene Muray in District 21, while John Wayne Hamblen, Justin Smith, Arlie Bragg and Preston George will face off for the District 25 seat.
    Incumbent Chad Barnard will face Ken Shorey in District 4; incumbent Jerry McFarland will face Bill Jones in District 5; incumbent Kenny Reich will face Kevin Graves in District 6; and incumbent Frank Bush will face Kevin Costley in District 8.
    Stephen Thomas will challenge incumbent Dan Walker in District 10, while Phillip DeLozier and Dallas Farmer will challenge District 13 incumbent Sonja Robinson.
    Todd Almond will face incumbent Diane Weathers in District 16, Lauren Breeze will challenge Terry Muncher in District 18, and Michael Anthony Neal will challenge incumbent Annette Stafford in District 20.
    District 22 incumbent Wendell Marlowe will face Matt Wilson, John Jankowich and Henry Jackson, incumbent Sue Vanatta will face Billy King in District 23, while Kristi Galligan will challenge incumbent Joy Bishop in District 24.
    Ray Justice and incumbent Robert Bryan will vie for Wilson County sheriff. Incumbent Jim Major will face Al Partee Jr. and Don “Howdy” Roberson for county trustee, while Jackie Murphy and Justin Davis will square off for register of deeds.
    Incumbents Debbie Moss and Jim Goodall will run unopposed for circuit court clerk and county clerk, respectively.
    Jacob Austin in Zone 1; Wesley Winthrop Thompson III in Zone 2, Frank Guzman and Alan Kaiser in Zone 3, Jenny Lenning-Faulk and Thomas Marshalek in Zone 4 and Ronnie Greer in Zone 5, will run for constable seats.
    Wilson County and Lebanon school boards
    Matt Mock and David Burks will challenge Bill Robinson in Zone 2, and Maurisa Pasick will challenge Linda Armistead in Zone 4, while Kimberly McGee will challenge Johnie Payton in Zone 6. Chad Karl and James “Rusty” Keith will challenge Zone 7 incumbent Gwynne Queener for seats on the Wilson County Board of Education.
    In Lebanon, Sarah Haston will challenge incumbent Steve Jones for Lebanon Special School District Board of Education.
    State Primary Elections
    State offices up for grab include governor, state Senate District 17, state House of Representatives Districts 46 and 57, U.S. Senate, U.S. Congress District 6 and state executive committeeman and woman for District 17.
    Republican candidates for governor include Diane Black, Randy Boyd, Beth Harwell, Bill Lee and Kay White. On the Democrat side, Karl Dean and Craig Fitzhugh are notable frontrunners. A host of independent candidates turned in petitions, including Mark CoonRippy Brown, Kenna Porter, of Old Hickory, and Heather Scott, of Mt. Juliet.
    In the race for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Bob Corker, who announced he won’t seek re-election, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn appears to be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in a field of about eight other GOP hopefuls. Phil Bredesen is the frontrunner on the Democrat side, and he will face Gary Davis and John Wolfe in that primary. About seven independent candidates round out the field.
    Bob Corlew, of Mt. Juliet, will run for the U.S. Congress District 6 seat on the Republican ticket, along with Isaac Alan Choplosky, of Cookeville; Judd Matheny, of Tullahoma; Christopher Brian Monday, of Cookeville; John Rose, of Cookeville; and Lavern “Uturn LaVern” Vivio, of Springfield. Democrats in the race include Dawn Barlow, of Rickman; Christopher Martin Finley, of Nashville; Peter Heffernan, of Gallatin; and Merrilee Wineinger, of Hendersonville. Lloyd Dunn, of Portland, and David Ross, of White House, are independent candidates.
    Mark Pody, R-Lebanon, will face Mary Alice Carfi, D-Lebanon, in a rematch of last year’s special election for the state Senate District 17 seat.
    Clark Boyd will face Menda McCall Holmes in the Republican primary for the House District 46 seat, while Faye Northcutt-Knox will face Mark Cagle in the Democratic primary.
    Susan Lynn will face Aaron Shane in the Republican primary for the House District 57 seat, and Jordan Cole will run as a Democrat in the race.
    Dwayne Craighead, Jerry Beavers, Jennifer Franklin Winfree and Terri Nicholson will run for spots on the Republican State Committee, and Aubrey Givens and Carol Brown Andrews will run for the Democratic State Committee.
    The withdrawal deadline for all races is April 12 at noon.

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