From the Tennessee Republican Party:
NASHVILLE, TN – Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Chris Devaney released the following statement on the election of Republican Becky Duncan Massey as State Senator for District 6.
“Tennesseans have repeatedly voiced their desire for elected officials who understand what it takes to create an environment for job creation and economic growth. Voters in Knox County once again voiced that desire by electing Becky Duncan Massey to the State Senate in the 6th District special election. Her commitment to smaller government, low taxes, and less regulations is exactly what voters in Knox County want. I congratulate Becky on this convincing victory, said Devaney.
“I also want to thank Jamie Woodson for her years of representation in this seat and interim State Senator Sue Atchley for her willingness to serve the voters of District 6 during this transition period,” concluded Devaney.
With most precincts reporting, Massey received 65% of the vote, compared to 35% for Democrat Gloria Johnson. District 6 includes a portion of Knox County.
— From the Senate Democratic Caucus:
Headlined, “Statement from Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney on Senate District 6”: “Gloria Johnson’s dedication to the State Senate District 6 race set a great example for all Tennessee Democrats,” said Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Lowe Finney (D-Jackson). “She fought hard to raise awareness for issues facing working families throughout Knox County, and we look forward to seeing more great things from her in the future as she serves the children and families of Knoxville while giving a voice to some of the hardest-working people in Tennessee: our teachers.”
From the News Sentinel:
State Senate candidate Becky Duncan Massey kept Knox County’s 6th District seat firmly in Republican hands, outpacing Democrat Gloria Johnson on Tuesday night by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.
Massey garnered nearly 64 percent of the general election vote among 15,740 votes cast in the race, according to unofficial returns from the Knox County Election Commission.
The 6th District seat, which represents portions of Knoxville and Knox County, was vacated this summer by Republican Jamie Woodson — speaker pro tempore of the Senate — who resigned to head a private education reform organization. The special election to fill the post coincided with the regular city election. Massey now will serve the remainder of the term until next year’s election.
Massey, 56, pledged to focus her limited term on improving the state’s regulatory climate for small business growth with a “common sense” approach.
“My priority down in Nashville will be to ask questions limit the size of government, limit the size of regulations,” said Massey, executive director of the Sertoma Center, an agency that serves mentally disabled adults. “As opposed to going down there and introducing a lot of legislation.”
Predictable figures from the latest campaign finance reports in Senate District 6 special election — Republican Becky Duncan Massey cashing in on frontrunner status, Democrat Gloria Johnson way behind. Massey, sister of U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., began October with $60,819 on hand.
Her list of expenditures includes $2,500 to Thomas Smith of Nashville, a “Fundraiser Consultant.” In October, she raised nearly $68,000, with 33 contributors giving $1,000 or more.
After some spending, she finished the reporting period — Oct. 1 through Oct. 29 — with just over $100,000 on hand.
By contrast, Johnson began the period with $7,596, and raised $9,725. She spent $5,700 in October — all of it on advertising, including about $4,000 on TV ads.
Massey’s largest contribution for the period was $5,000 from RAAMPAC. That is Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s PAC, according to Massey’s campaign adviser Bill Vaughan.
In all, 17 PACs contributed to Massey’s campaign…
…Johnson’s largest single contribution in October was $5,000, from the Brushy Mountain Prison Employees Union.
She listed five contributions of $500. Two of those were from organizations: Democratic Women of Knoxville and the Tennessee Education Association Fund for Children and Public Education. Johnson listed $11,619 on hand at the end of the report.
Jim Balloch has a rundown today on the race between Republican Becky Duncan Massey and Democrat Gloria Johnson in the Senate District 6 special election. Massey, sister of U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan, is heavily favored.
Excerpts: Massey, 56, is taking some time away from her position as executive director of the Sertoma Center, an agency that serves mentally-disabled adults. But she stays on the job “as needed,” she said.
“I have a good staff, and I am not a micro-manager,” she aid. “So, they don’t need me” to be there every day.
Johnson, 49, is a special-education teacher at the Richard Yoakley Alternative School. She did not take a leave of absence to campaign.
“Can’t do it,” she said. “I’m the only income for my household.”
She said she campaigns only outside of school hours.
…Johnson is the daughter of a retired FBI agent. She said dissatisfaction with the administration of former President George W. Bush led her to become more active in the party that was always her choice. She organized supporters of Barack Obama in his bid for the presidency, and she also is chair of the Knox County Democratic Party.
Massey campaign adviser Bill Vaughan said their campaign has not been raising the Obama connection, even though they regard Johnson as a serious opponent.
“I’m not running away from it,” Johnson said. “That doesn’t have anything to do with any of the issues I am campaigning on or that will be in the state Senate.”
Johnson acknowledges she has an uphill battle, especially with little money. She is relying heavily on volunteers and friends to wage a grassroots campaign. The party headquarters on Morgan Street doubles as her campaign office.
A campaign financial report filed on Oct. 10 began with a balance of $6,236 and an ending balance of $7,596. Massey’s report for the same period: A beginning balance of $88,000, ending balance of $60,800.
Johnson was endorsed Tuesday by the Knox County Education Association and the Tennessee Education Association. Such endorsements usually bring PAC contributions
News release from Senate Republican Caucus:
Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and the Senate Republican Caucus today endorsed Senate candidate Becky Duncan Massey at an event in Fountain City Park in Knoxville.
Massey is running for the 6th District state Senate seat vacated by former Speaker Pro Tempore Jamie Woodson. Election Day is Nov. 8.
“Becky Duncan Massey is a true conservative who believes that government should be limited, efficient and as small a burden on the taxpayers as possible,” said Lt. Gov. Ramsey. “Republicans in District 6 have made a great decision and I’m confident that the electorate at large will follow suit.”
“We have proved that unified Republican government can reduce government spending and ease the tax burden while increasing the level of service and efficiency in government,” Ramsey continued. “I believe Becky Duncan Massey will be a great asset to our team in the Senate and I am proud to stand with her and look forward to her joining me in Nashville.”
“The people of District 6 have an opportunity this election to vote for a true conservative who believes in less regulation, less legislation and less taxation,” said Majority Leader Mark Norris (R – Collierville). “I look forward to adding her strong voice to our membership.”
“Becky Duncan Massey is a conservative businesswoman who understands the needs of her constituents and her state,” said Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron (R – Murfreesboro). “She will be an outstanding State Senator. I look forward to a big victory in November.”
A Knox County native, Massey has been the Executive Director of the Sertoma Center for 14 years where she manages a staff of 160 people and balances an annual operational budget of $6,000,000. Massey is the President-Elect of Tennessee Community Operators and has served on the board of directors of the Akima Club of Knoxville, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Overlook Center, Sertoma Center, and the U.T. Knoxville Alumnae Chapter. The mother of two adult daughters, Massey resides in Knoxville with her husband, Morton.
State Democratic leaders say they recognize Gloria Johnson is an underdog as the party’s nominee for the Senate’s 6th District seat, but she could have a chance against Republican Becky Duncan Massey in a low-turnout election.
“We believe in Gloria. She’s a very good candidate and, quite frankly, we could use a schoolteacher in the Senate,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis. “It is a seriously Republican district (but) if the education community will support her, I think she has a chance.
“A lot of Independent and Republican teachers have woken up to the Republican Legislature being hostile toward them. I don’t think they view Gov. ( Bill) Haslam as hostile, but they are learning the Republican Legislature is hostile.”
A low turnout is expected in the Nov. 8 special election and if teachers go to the polls, they could have a stronger impact than in the typical race, Kyle said.
“This is a race (the Tennessee Education Association) should get involved in,” he said.
Becky Duncan Massey rolled to comfortable win over two other women in the state Senate District 6 Republican primary in Tuesday’s special election for the seat vacated by former Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Jamie Woodson, reports Jim Balloch. Candidate Marilyn Roddy said she telephoned Massey around 9:30 p.m., conceded the race “and told her I thought she would do a great job in the Senate representing the 6th District.”
In the Nov. 8 general election, Massey will face a Democrat opponent, schoolteacher Gloria Johnson, 49, who was unopposed in her party’s primary.
Massey said she expects to begin campaigning today. She said her focus and issues — mainly jobs and the economy — will be the same in the general election as it was in the primary.
“Nothing is going to change,” she said. “We’re just going to have to move forward and work hard.”
…. Massey had 49.35 percent to Roddy’s 38.91 percent. Victoria DeFreese had 11.74 percent, according (complete but unofficial results from) the Knox County Election Commission.
“The voters have spoken, and I believe in the process,” DeFreese, 37, said.
She said that as a candidate she was disappointed in her showing, but that as a citizen she was even more disappointed in the low voter turnout.
Massey, 56, is executive director of the Knoxville Sertoma Center and the sister of U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.
Massey’s campaign manager, Bill Vaughan, said the campaign anticipated a low voter turnout. “So we had people on the phone calling people all day, urging them to vote,” he said. “And we’ve had workers at every precinct and polling place.”
The News Sentinel has a Sunday article on the three Republican women running for the state Senate District 6 seat -Victoria DeFreese, Becky Duncan Massey and Marilyn Roddy, Here’s an excerpt I thought interesting: Each candidate was asked if she could introduce and be assured of passage of just one piece of legislation to benefit the state’s economy and create jobs, what that legislation would be.
Said Massey: “My law would be that for every new regulation that a state department creates, they must then eliminate two existing regulations. The No. 1 thing that (business owners) are telling me is that compliance with excessive regulation is choking them, and costing money that could instead be used to develop new jobs and improve the infrastructure of their business.”
Said Roddy: “If it has to be just one, it would be ‘loser pays’ tort reform. Last year, the Legislature passed limits on liability, and this would work hand in glove with improving the economy and job growth in our state.”
DeFreese: “Because the federal government manages the macro-economy and that impacts all states, if I could introduce one piece of legislation that would be ensured passage, I would suggest a resolution calling for the impeachment of President Obama. If we could join with other states and pursue that, that is what I would like to do.” Note: Reporter Jim Balloch also has two sidebars on the 6th District Senate race, one on candidate views on issues that the winner may face in the Legislature; the other on their fundraising (Massey leads there).
News-Sentinel Backs Roddy
When Jamie Woodson announced she would resign her 6th District state Senate seat last spring to run an education nonprofit, three fellow Republican women leapt at the chance to succeed her in a special election.
Our choice in the Republican primary to replace Woodson is City Councilwoman Marilyn Roddy.
Roddy would bring to the seat an impressive command of the issues facing state government, experience working with Gov. Bill Haslam when he was mayor and a strong emphasis on education shared with Woodson.
….Roddy faces a tough road to the general election. Her strongest opponent is Becky Duncan Massey, who has done stellar work in the community as executive director of the Sertoma Center. Though politically inexperienced herself, she grew up the daughter of a congressman and is the sister of U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr. Victoria DeFreese, a former Knox County commissioner, has enough name recognition and enthusiasm for campaigning to siphon off enough votes to make a difference in the outcome.
All three primary candidates paint themselves as conservative, but Roddy’s record on City Council and her statements in interviews and in candidate forums indicate she will be more pragmatic than ideological, making her an ideal legislative ally for Haslam.
(Full editorial HERE.) State Employees for Massey News release from TSEA’s PAC:
NASHVILLE – Monday, September 12, 2011 -The Tennessee Employees Action Movement (TEAM) – the PAC of the Tennessee State Employees Association – proudly endorses Becky Duncan Massey (R – Knoxville) in her bid for election to the District 6 seat of the Tennessee State Senate
“We are pleased to endorse Becky Duncan Massey’s campaign,” said James Braswell, Chair of the TEAM Administrative Committee. “Becky Massey appreciates state employees and values the services they provide daily to the citizens of Tennessee. She understands that quality services depend on a motivated, effective and efficient workforce and we believe she will be a strong supporter of state employees.” said Braswell.
TEAM, is the political action arm of the Tennessee State Employees Association, which represents hundreds of state employees in the 6th Senate District. TSEA was established in 1974. For further information, visit the Web site at www.tseaonline.org.
Metro Pulse has a report today on the four women running to replace Jamie Woodson in the state Senate District 6 seat. In an overview piece, there are short profiles on the candidates with each given a label in the headline: Becky Duncan Massey, “the legacy;” Marilyn Roddy, “the thinker:” Victoria DeFreese, “the outsider;” and Gloria Johnson, “the carpetbagging Democrat.”
Massey, Roddy and DeFreese square off in a Republican primary Sept. 27. Johnson is assured of the Demcoratic nomination, meaning she’ll face the GOP primary winner in Novwember.
There’s a separate Q&A piece, wherein the candidates answer questions on issues.
As an interesting example, they were asked about Rep. Bill Dunn’s bill to protect from discipline teachers who promote alternatives to scientific theories — as in creationism as an alternative to evolution.
None of the Republican candidates had ever heard of the bill, which passed the House last session and will be before the Senate next year. But two – Massey and DeFreese – volunteered that they support teaching creationism in schools , which would be going a lot further than Dunn’s bill goes in promoting creationism. Roddy dodged a direct answer on whether she would vote for the bill, even after the reporter provided her with the text of the bill and an article on the measure.
Democrat Johnson flatly opposed the measure.