Republican Mark Green unseats Democratic Sen. Tim Barnes in Senate District 22, HERE.
Republican Steve Dickerson defeats Phil North in Senate District 20, HERE.
Democrat Bo Mitchell defeats Charles Williamson in House District 50, HERE
Republican Todd Gardenhire wins Senate District 10, HERE
Kent Williams, the state’s only independent legislator, wins a new term, HERE
Democratic Rep. John Tidwell wins a new term in House District 74, HERE.
The House District 50 seat is open for the first time in at least 28 years, but the two men competing for it are no rookies when it comes to campaigning, reports the Tennessean. Democrat Tim Garrett represented the district in the General Assembly for 20 years until Gary Moore unseated him in a primary fight and went on to win the seat in 2004, starting an eight-year run that will end soon with Moore’s retirement.
Now Democrat Bo Mitchell, who has served with Garrett in the Metro Council since 2007, and Republican Charles Williamson, who unsuccessfully sought a different legislative seat two years ago, are vying to represent the area stretching from Goodlettsville to Bellevue.
The race has taken on a negative tone lately, with Mitchell hammering at Williamson’s residency issues and Williamson saying in a news release that Mitchell, although welcome to attend a recent campaign bean supper, “may already be full of beans.”
Mitchell, director of sales for Health Cost Solutions, previously worked for former Gov. Phil Bredesen as director of community affairs and ran the state Senate’s Government Operations Committee while working for former Sen. Pete Springer.
Judge David Loughry dismissed new Democratic Property Assessor Rob Mitchell’s campaign sign vandalism charges against past Republican Property Assessor Bill Boner Tuesday, reports the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. Mitchell, who won the Aug. 2 election, spent nearly all of his first official day in office at the County Judicial Building after he took out a warrant to have Boner arrested in July. He accused the incumbent of damaging a campaign banner that had been hanging on the side of a wall at the Premier 6 movie theater at Jackson Heights shopping center where Boner serves as the property manager.
Judge Loughry, though, said during the preliminary hearing that Boner had to respond to a Murfreesboro Building and Codes Department warning that the city only allows three temporary signs per property.
“Mr. Boner has the approved authority to determine the three signs,” Loughry ruled in determining there was no probably cause to send the case to a grand jury.
The judge noted that the sign in question was hung back up with duct tape before Mitchell agreed to take it down.
Tennessee Republicans think they can turn yet another state House seat their way this year in a district stretching from Goodlettsville to Bellevue, reports the Tennessean. But Democrats believe they have a strong candidate to keep the District 50 seat in Metro Councilman Bo Mitchell, who will face one of three relative newcomers from the GOP ranks. Democratic state Rep. Gary Moore, a union advocate like Mitchell, is retiring after representing the district for eight years.
Early voting starts today. Mitchell, 41, is running unopposed on the Democratic side. The Republican race features Dwight “DJ” Farris, a 25-year-old Realtor; Dave Hall, 24, who works with data for Wyndham Resorts; and Charles Williamson, 51, a geologist, business owner and bison rancher.
…Both Williamson and Hall ran for House seats in 2010, while Farris is making his first bid for public office. Williamson lost to state Rep. Mike Turner of Old Hickory in District 51. Hall was the Republican nominee in District 50. He drew more than 42 percent of the vote but couldn’t unseat Moore.
Moore made an issue two years ago of the fact that Hall lived with his parents, which still appears to be the case. Hall and his father, Senate District 20 candidate David Hall, listed the same address and phone number when they qualified to run in April.
Hall said he’s legally old enough to run and that he would focus on cutting taxes, confronting illegal immigration and communicating with the people he hopes to represent.
“If you’re here illegally, we need to deport you,” he said. “We need you to come here through the proper channels.”
Farris, who said he closed his first real estate deal when he was a 20-year-old sophomore at Lipscomb University, said he would work to reduce regulations on businesses and create an environment that encourages student achievement and rewards successful teachers.
“People are ready to see someone that’s focused on creating jobs,” he said. “They understand that government does best when it gets out of the way of small business.”
Farris has been endorsed by Tennessee Right to Life, a pro-life group.
Williamson did not return two phone calls or an email seeking an interview this week. In a response to a request for basic information last month, he wrote that he decided to run because “I want to give back in a meaningful way and represent my neighbors with common sense leadership and a sincere willingness to work across party lines for solutions that keep Tennessee vibrant and strong.”
One woman who has been voting for more than eight decades in this state was told this week she may no longer be eligible to vote, reports WSMV-TV. She’s worked for years at the Tennessee State Capitol and has her old state ID, but that’s not good enough under the new voter ID law. Thelma Mitchell cleaned this governor’s office for his entire term. She has been a fixture at the State Capitol for more than 30 years, yet this year she was told “you’re no longer allowed to vote.”
“I ain’t missed a governor’s election since (Frank) Clement got to be the governor,” said Mitchell.
The 93-year-old Mitchell voted for the first time in 1931, soon after women gained the right to vote in the United States. “It meant a lot to me,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell worked as a maid cleaning the State Capitol, specifically the governor’s office. She has known governors, legislators and council members personally for decades. This week Mitchell found out her old state ID with her picture on it is no longer enough to qualify her to vote. (Born in Alabama in 1908, she also never had a birth certificate, the story says.)
“When he told me I may be in this country illegally, I said I’ve been over here all my life,” said Mitchell.
…Mitchell and her nieces are considering suing the state.
“If it’s put her in this position, it’s probably put a lot more people in this position,” said Jones. “People are living longer. It’s a right (to vote). They struggled at getting the right to vote, and that’s their right.” UPDATE: Excerpt from an AP story:
Mitchell, who was delivered by a midwife in Alabama in 1918, has never had a birth certificate. But when she told that to a driver’s license clerk, he suggested she might be an illegal immigrant.
But a spokesman for the House Republican Caucus said Mitchell was given bad information. Brent Leatherwood said even an expired state ID will allow her to vote.
Asked about why Mitchell might have been confused or received incorrect information about the new voter ID law, Leatherwood said only that the provision that allows for the use of state employee IDs is “pretty straightforward.”
He said staff would be contacting Mitchell to get to the bottom of the miscommunication.