Dates set for special election

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Marshall County residents will get an extra pair of trips to the polls in 2018.

Governor Bill Haslam issued a writ of election on Sunday, setting the dates for a special election to fill the vacant 14th District seat in the Tennessee Senate.

The 14th Senate District covers Marshall, Bedford, Moore, and Lincoln Counties, as well as eastern Rutherford County.

Jim Tracy held the seat for the past 13 years, serving as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and most recently as speaker pro tem of the Senate.

He stepped down after accepting a Presidential nomination to become the Tennessee Director of Rural Development in the United States Department of Agriculture.

Tracy submitted his letter of resignation from the state Senate, effective Nov. 6, trigg ering a special election to fill the remainder of his term.

The special primary will be held on Thursday, Jan. 25, and the special general election date will be Tuesday, March 13.

Marshall County Administrator of Elections Andrew Robertson said that, initially, his main concern was the short window for potential candidates to file their paperwork.

Petitions must be submitted by noon on Dec. 14.

“They don’t have a whole lot of time,” he said.

As with any ballot with a single race, turnout from voters is always a concern.

“It will be interesting to see what the turnout is,” said Robertson, adding that a January primary also held the potential for bad weather that could further impact voters.

He said that he had already submitted a budget amendment to the County Commission to pay for the special election, although costs would be reimbursed by the state.

Three candidates have, so far, said they would run for the seat.

Shane Reeves, a Murfreesboro businessman, and Joe Carr, who served six years as state representative for the 48th District covering eastern Rutherford County, have declared their candidacy for the Republican primary.

Tracy has endorsed Reeves as his successor.

Democrat Gayle Jordan has also expressed her intention to run again for the seat. She was the Democratic nominee in 2016, losing to Tracy in the general election.