House District 58: A Combative Democratic Primary

Nashville’s House District 58 is apparently the only place in the state where there’s a serious primary challenge to an incumbent Democratic state legislator that wasn’t created by Republican redistricting. (There are four races where one Democratic incumbent is running against another because of redistricting.) The Tennessean has a rundown on the race:
Two years after longtime state Rep. Mary Pruitt held off an upstart Steven Turner by 167 votes in a primary election, both Democrats are running again for the same seat against the son of another tenured lawmaker.
The primary race among Pruitt, Turner and the Rev. Harold M. Love Jr. will determine the outcome for the district. No other candidates, Republican or independent, are running to represent the majority African-American 58th District in the state House.
For Turner, who runs a small electronics business in southeast Nashville, his near-election in 2010 was a major reason he decided to run again.
“It was something I owed to my constituents. To have us come so close to victory required us to go for it again,” he said.
…. Redistricting announced in January turned a district that used to include downtown and parts of Germantown and Belmont into a district stretching from Bordeaux and the areas near Fisk and Tennessee State universities around to greater parts of East Nashville and Murfreesboro Pike.
“Thirty-five percent of this district has never voted for a Pruitt, Love or a Turner,” Turner said. “That presents an opportunity for us to be there and fight for that vote.
…While Harold Love Jr. hasn’t been on a ballot as recently as Pruitt or Turner, he might be able to make up for it with name recognition in North Nashville.
He’s the pastor at St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Bordeaux and the son of Harold Love, a beloved state lawmaker who represented North Nashville for 24 years. His slogan, “Put Love in the House,” harks back to his father’s re-election call to “Keep Love in the House.” His father’s role of neighborhood leader also is inspiring him to try to be an area leader whose goal is “engaging in and transforming the lives of the community.”
He sees the state representative’s office as one that can connect the state to the district, and would use his position, if elected, to improve the health, education and small businesses of the neighborhoods he represents.
“I would put together a measurable plan, something that we could say, ‘In six months, we could do this,’ ” he said

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