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 two candidates seeking the 74 District state House seat have plenty of contrasts that set them apart, says the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle. Incumbent John Tidwell, a Democrat, was first elected in 1996 and has served on various committees and subcommittees through the years, and also served on the Humphreys County Commission, as well as local and regional boards.
Lauri Day, who lives in the Humphreys County town of McEwen, is a small business owner with her husband and has been an outspoken advocate for education in Nashville, which is the extent of her public service and political experience.
Because of redistricting, Dist. 74 now includes Humphreys, Houston and the western part of Montgomery County.
Tidwell said he lost two-thirds of his former district when the boundaries were redrawn. “I’ve not been opposed in the last 10 years,” he said. “I serve the people, and they know that.”
Day, who beat Clarksville City Councilman Nick Steward in the Republican primary, has been in the news lately because of unpaid federal income taxes and a $46,000 IRS lien against her home.
Lauri Day, the Republican challenger to state Rep. John Tidwell, has a $46,000 lien against her McEwen home because of unpaid personal income taxes, reports the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle. Day had an unpaid personal income tax balance of $22,015 from 2003 and $24,082 from 2004, according to the tax lien filed with Humphreys County. Day, who beat Clarksville City Councilman Nick Steward in the Republican primary, said she has been open about her debt to the IRS and did not feel it inhibited her ability to run for office.
“It wasn’t a matter of tax evasion or nonpayment. There’s nothing criminal about anything going on here,” Day said. “I’m currently under a payment plan with the IRS for an outstanding balance.”
Tidwell said he was surprised someone with a lien on their house would run for a state-level office.
“Anybody that has tax liens against their house should not be in charge of the public’s money, and that’s what we are, we pass the budget of the state,” Tidwell said.
…Day said she was unable to pay her personal income taxes after the catering business she runs with her husband underperformed.
“We never know how much money we can make from month-to-month,” Day said. “We had a couple of good years but by the time the tax was due we didn’t have money to pay for it.”
Tidwell and Day are running to represent House District 74, which after this year’s redistricting stretches across Humphreys, Houston, Stewart and Montgomery counties, and includes a western portion of Clarksville.
An organization calling itself the Common Sense Coalition on Friday unleashed a series of accusations against City Councilman Nick Steward, who is running for the Republican nomination to the State House, reports the Clarksville Leaf-Chronicle. Among the claims are that Steward has misrepresented his place of residence in order to run for City Council, and again to run for House District 74.
Steward is running against Lauri Day of Humpheys County for the GOP nomination for that seat, with early voting starting Friday, July 13.
“It’s disappointing that my primary opponent and her surrogates would resort to mudslinging and personal attacks,” Steward said in response Friday. “You might want to be an adult rather than have someone else do your hatchet work.”
Day did not return calls seeking comment..
Similar claims have also been brought forward by Rep. John Tidwell, the Democratic incumbent in District 74
The claims are outlined by Neil Revlett, founder and chairman of the coalition, a libertarian-influenced group founded in the wake of the Tea Party movement. Day lists membership in the Humphreys County Tea Party among her affiliations.
Revlett, who ran as a Republican against state Rep. Joe Pitts in 2010, said he was sending his accusations to the District Attorney’s Office, as well as the Election Commission.
“I just hope an investigation goes forward, and we can get to the bottom of this,” Revlett said by phone Friday. “These rumors have been circulating for a couple of years, and it’s time he put these rumors to rest.
As reported in The Leaf-Chronicle in August 2010, Steward ran for the Ward 1 council seat on the basis of his residence being a rented room in the basement of then-Councilwoman Barbara Johnson.
At the time, he owned a house at 236 Short St. in Ward 5. He said he moved in with Johnson because he didn’t want to live alone while his wife was deployed in Afghanistan.
Steward said Friday, though, that he and his wife legally separated in spring 2010 and divorced about a year later. The Short Street residence belongs to his ex-wife, and he hasn’t “even been to her home” since he moved out.”
Some state leaders and library officials in Tennessee question whether Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett went too far this week when he banned sex offenders from county libraries, reports Mike Donila. The mayor, though, doesn’t care what anyone thinks about the new rule. “I’ll take some heat and I realize that, and I know that a lot of folks are going to come to the defense of the poor child molesters and poor rapists, but I’m not going to be one of them,” he said. “I have no sympathy whatsoever for them. They can go to a bookstore.”
Burchett’s ban is based on a law passed by the Legislature unanimously earlier this year under sponsorship of Sen. Tim Barnes, D-Clarksville, and Rep. John Tidwell, D-New Johnsonville. Donila talked with them and with officials of other libraries around the state – and none have any plans to follow the Knox County lead immediately. “Discretion is one of those things where you and I will disagree, and there will be differences of opinion over how it will be exercised,” said Barnes. “But most important, it gives librarians legal authority to control the access that sex offenders have to libraries.”
He added that small libraries without a separate children’s area that can’t easily be monitored probably should outright ban offenders.
…(Tidwell), however, said the intention was not to ban offenders. The point was to give library directors “the authority to ask them to come back at a later time when there is not a gathering of kids,” the House sponsor said Wednesday.
“I wanted the librarians to have some leeway about what they can do,” said Tidwell.
Tidwell and Barnes said they came up with the new law after a librarian in Houston County several years ago grew concerned over a local sex offender who would routinely visit the library during children’s events.
Knox County appears to be the first of the state’s big four metropolitan library systems to put such a policy in place.
Officials in Nashville, Memphis and Chattanooga said they are monitoring Knox County’s initiative but don’t expect to implement it. Top library representatives said they have yet to have an incident beyond someone exposing themselves, and they already question and monitor any lone adult who goes into a children’s area.
“I wonder how (Knox County) is going to enforce this,” said Eva Johnston, interim director of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library system. “Unless they’re checking IDs at the door and comparing them to the list, it’s probably not going to work.”
Tricia Bengel, interim library director for Nashville Public Library, which has 21 branches, said officials talked with their attorney about Knox County and the state law and “determined that we are not going to do a wholesale ban.”
For example, she said, people use the Nashville system to job hunt in an effort to “make their lives better.”
Officials with the Tennessee Library Association, a statewide, non-profit advocate for libraries, say libraries already have policies in place to protect children, and so long as visitors follow the rules, they should be given access.