Four now eye Ramsey’s Senate seat; Hill out

Four Republicans have now picked up the paperwork needed to qualify as candidates for the Senate District 4 seat being vacated by Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, according to the Kingsport Times-News.

State Rep. Jon Lundberg filed his nominating petition with the Sullivan County Election Commission on Friday. Petitions have been issued to Republicans Neal Kerney, Brad Baker and Steve Godsey.

No Democrats had picked up petitions or filed to run for the seat.

Kerney unsuccessfully ran for the House District 2 seat in 2004 against former state Rep. Nathan Vaughn.

Godsey is a former state representative who served as Sullivan County mayor from 2006 to 2014, when he lost his bid for re-election at the party primary level to current County Mayor Richard Venable.

…Lundberg appears to have a huge early fundraising advantage in the Senate race, as his current House campaign account has more than $120,000 in it, according to the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance.

In addition to his legislative responsibilities, Lundberg is president of The Corporate Image, Inc., an integrated public relations and marketing firm headquartered in Bristol. He is also president of Corporate Marketing, the agency’s award-winning marketing and advertising division.

…State Rep. Timothy Hill announced on Thursday he will not be a candidate for the Senate seat, but will seek re-election to his House District 3 seat.

Sullivan County Commissioner John Crawford, who narrowly lost a GOP primary election to Lundberg in 2006, has picked up a petition to run for Lundberg’s House District 1 seat. So has former Sullivan County Register of Deeds Bart Long and Republican Michelle Denise.

Senate District 4 includes Johnson and Sullivan counties as well as a portion of Carter County.

Note: Lundberg has also set up a Senate campaign website, HERE.