Some Republicans Surprised to Get Democratic Opponents?

Three school teachers have qualified as Democratic candidates against incumbent Knox County Republican state legislators in a deadline day move that surprised some GOP leaders, reports Georgiana Vines.
They are Anthony Hancock, a former University of Tennessee football player who filed in the seat now held by Republican Rep. Steve Hall; Jerome Miller, who will be running against state Rep. Ryan Haynes; and Evelyn Gill, a special-education teacher who will be opposing state Sen. Becky Duncan Massey,
Gloria Johnson, Knox County Democratic Party chairwoman and herself a legislative candidate to succeed retiring state Rep. Harry Tindell, said the party recruited “folks that we thought would be good.” Two Republicans are seeking Tindell’s 13th District seat — Vanderbilt Brabson and Gary Loe. Nick H. Cazana is running as an Independent.
Johnson, Hancock and Gill are all teachers in the Knox County school system.
Hancock said Saturday that he had been active in the Tennessee Education Association as a special-education teacher at Bearden Middle School for nine years, but running for the Legislature will be the first time to be active for the general public, he said.
Hancock said he had been encouraged by the activity of the “Wisconsin 14” — 14 state senators who spent three weeks in Illinois last year protesting Gov. Scott Walker’s budget package, which included eliminating most collective bargaining rights for public employees. The governor faces a recall election in June.
Gill said she, too, will be running on an education platform. Miller could not be reached for comment about his campaign.

Also, this excerpt from a roundup story on local elections in the Dyersburg State Gazette:
One interesting race that locals are commenting on is for the House District 77 seat that is held by Rep. Bill Sanderson (R). Local businessman, Mark Oakes, has thrown his hat in the ring and will face Sanderson as a Democrat. Thoughts were Sanderson, whose district now encompasses all of Dyer County, would run unopposed. Sanderson, an Obion County native, beat Democrat Judy Barker in the 2010 election.

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