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TEA Endorsing in Some GOP Primaries; PAC Dealing With New Law

The Tennessee Education Association’s political arm has endorsed three East Tennessee Republican legislators facing contested primaries this summer while declining to take sides in incumbent-versus-incumbent Democratic primaries.
Republican incumbents receiving TEA support while facing primary challengers on Aug. 2 include Sen. Doug Overbey of Maryville, Rep. Dale Ford of Jonesborough and Rep. Bob Ramsey of Maryville.
On the other hand, the TEA is backing Phil Morgan Jr. of Newport, the challenger to Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, and Grady Caskey, challenger to Rep. Art Swann, R-Maryville. Caskey is president of the TEA’s Blount County affiliate.
“The people we endorsed in Republican primaries are moderate Republicans who have voted pro-public education,” said Jerry Winters, TEA’s lead lobbyist at the Legislature and adviser to its PAC, which is traditionally one of the biggest donors to legislative campaigns. The PAC had a cash-on-hand balance of $384,501 at last report.

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