News notes on TN legislative campaigns

Franklin Democrat seeks money in Memphis
Holly McCall, running as a Democrat in the District 65 seat now held by embattled Republican Rep. Jeremy Durham, took her campaign to Memphis Thursday night for a reception/fundraiser at the Jay Etkin Gallery in the Cooper-Young entertainment district, reports the Memphis Flyer.

The special drink offered guests at the bar was a “Rachel Jackson,” a champagne-based drink, chosen to remind guests that House Speaker Beth Harwell had reacted to alleged serial acts of misconduct by Durham (and an adverse finding by state Attorney General Herb Slatery that the legislator presented a hazard to “unsuspectring women” ) by relocating his office from the War Memorial building to the Rachel Jackson Building, across the street from the Capitol.

…McCall a longtime activist and, like Durham, a Franklin resident, is a longtime Democratic activist who served most recently as press representative for the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in Tennessee.

A prayerful primary challenger
Jackson City Councilman Ernest Brooks II, running against Rep. Johnny Shaw of Bolivar in the House District 80 Democratic primary, had about 30 people on hand — including pastors — for a campaign prayer breakfast at Jackson’s St. Paul CME Church Saturday, reports the Jackson Sun.

The attorney said he could not think of a better way to kick off his campaign than with prayer.

“The Bible says pray without ceasing and faint not, and that’s what we plan to do,” Brooks said.

…Local pastors proceeded to pray for the integrity of the campaign — that the staff and supporters would “flee from mudslinging.” The Rev. Mark Mackey of Macedonia Baptist Church thanked God for Brooks’ willingness to step up and make a change. Others prayed that the candidate would find wisdom and strength to do the will of God and that his family would have everything they needed during the campaign season.

Brooks promised that he would always be accessible to his constituents and keep them in the know through monthly newsletters among other venues. He is passionate about investing in jobs and providing high quality education and health care for all… Books said he is not running to oppose a man but to propose a new vision for the district. According to Brooks’ polling, the people of Madison County feel as though they only hear from their representative during election season, and their concerns are unheard.

Doctor challenges Rep. Sargent
A Brentwood physician says he’s running for the Republican nomination in House District 61 to uphold Tennessee values and beliefs, reports The Tennessean.

Terrence Smith, a political newcomer, will face longtime incumbent Rep. Charles Sargent and businessman Steve Gawrys, who narrowly lost to Sargent in 2014.

“These days I’m concerned that traditional Tennessee values and beliefs — they’re just under assault day in and day out,” said Smith, an Army veteran who’s previously worked as a welder and a state trooper focused on crimes and homicides.

Rep. Favors’ foe offers ‘new generation of leadership’
Dennis Clark, a Democrat, has announced his candidacy for the the Tennessee House District 28 seat now held by Rep. JoAnn Favors, D-Chattanooga, reports the Times-Free Press.

“We need a new generation of leadership for the people who need it the most,” said Clark. “We need safer streets, stronger families and communities and smarter children.”

The needs of the district’s black community are not being addressed at the state level and that has to change, he said.

…Clark, who owns a small public relations and marketing firm, cited five years of legislative experience as a major asset. He was appointed by Gov. Phil Bredesen to serve on the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth from 2004 to 2009. In that role, he was a legislative advocate for juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. Clark also served as a legislative aide and policy adviser to Georgia state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan from 2009 to 2010.