On defeat of incumbent Republicans Campfield, Daniel in Knox County

From the News Sentinel’s report on Knox County legislative races, including Sen. Stacey Campfield’s loss to Knox County Commissioner Richard Briggs:

Briggs took 67 percent of the vote in unofficial results Thursday, while loser Campfield finished with 28 percent. A third candidate, Mike Alford, took less than 6 percent of ballots.

Excited screams came from inside of the suite where Briggs awaited results in the Crowne Plaza Hotel downtown as early voting figures came through.

Briggs said he next hopes to win in November against Democrat Cheri Siler.

“But I’ll be honest with you,” Briggs said, “I haven’t thought past tonight.”

He was calm but clearly excited as he posed for photos with friends and family in the room. The heart surgeon was not just focused on his victory in the primary, though.

“I’ve got to be on call Friday through Sunday,” he said, speaking about his day job, “so I still have to go to bed at some point.”

Meanwhile, Campfield ally Steve Hall also lost his seat in the 18th District of the Tennessee House of Representatives to Martin Daniel.

Daniel won with a narrow margin, carrying 51 percent of the vote. He will be unopposed in the November general election.

Former Knoxville Mayor Victor Ashe said incumbents haven’t been beaten in a (Knox County) primary for the state House in 20 years, and it’s been 37 years since an incumbent lost a primary in the 7th Senate District.

Campfield took to his blog after the results came in, posting “That was fun” at lastcar.blogspot.com with a link to Frank Sinatra singing “My Way.”

Hall, a former Knoxville city councilman, did not attract the kind of national attention that Campfield became known for.

“We can do better,” Daniel said after running a campaign that focused on several debated votes by Hall, including his move to take away a scenic highway designation along Middlebrook Pike while Tennova announced plans to build a hospital there.

Some West Hills residents were against the hospital plans, and continue to be vocal.

On policy matters, Daniel said that he hopes to propose a plan to limit bureaucratic power in government once he’s in Nashville.