Rep. David Shepard won’t seek reelection

Democratic Rep. David Shepard of Dickson, who in 2014 won a close race in one of the state’s few House seats that remain competitive on a partisan basis, announced Friday he will not seek another term in District 69, reports The Tennessean.

“I am not going to run for re-election,” Shepard said. “It’s time. It’s a combination of a lot of things. The most important reason is, I feel like after 16 years, it’s a good time for me to retire.”

Shepard, 68, who started, bought and managed four area pharmacies including Dickson Apothecary, said his priorities are shifting.

“I have four grandkids,” Shepard said. “I want to spend some more time with them. Martha and I want to be able to do a little more of the mission work that we do.”

Shepard and his wife, Martha, are members of First United Methodist Church in Dickson.

Michael Curcio, R-Dickson, who lost to Shepard two years ago by 16 votes of the more than 12,000 votes cast across three counties, is running again. He has already turned in his qualifying petition.

Shepard, who has represented all or a portion of Dickson County since 2000 in District 69, had picked up the qualifying petition in late February and said he was undecided at that time.

Tim Hobbs, a Hickman County School Board member, has picked up a petition to run as a Democrat for the state House District 69 seat, Hickman County Election Office officials said. Hobbs has not yet returned the petition, office officials said.

In addition to Curcio, Wayne White of Dickson County has also picked up a petition to run.

…In the November 2014 election, Shepard had 6,246 votes to Curcio’s 6,231 votes. Shepard won Dickson County with 51.7 percent of the vote and a portion of Maury County that includes Columbia with 53 percent of the vote. Curcio won Hickman County with 54 percent of the vote.

Note: State Republican Chairman Ryan Haynes promptly issued a statement praising Shephard, who was bashed considerably in the 2014 campaign by Republicans, and coming pretty darn close to declaring that Curcio will now win the seat. It’s HERE.

State Democratic Chair Mary Mancini emailed media this statement:

“Representative Shepard has served the people of his district for 15 years with compassion, accountability and integrity. We thank him for his unwavering commitment and service to this his constituents and the people of Tennessee.

Tennessee Democrats will continue to work for an accountable and effective state government, strong families and communities and opportunity for the people of House District 69 and the people Tennessee.