Spivey disqualified from Senate race

Friday, December 15, 2017

An unpaid fine disqualified Lewisburg Republican Billy Spivey from running in the special election for a Tennessee Senate seat.

The Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance in Nashville issued a letter to the Tennessee Division of Elections on Thursday, stating that Spivey was ineligible to qualify for the election.

The order provided by the campaign finance bureau said that Spivey had an outstanding civil penalty of $425 for failure to file his 4th quarter campaign finance report for 2016 on time.

State law requires the filing of quarterly reports detailing the financial activity in campaign accounts.

The deadline for filing was Jan. 25, 2017. According to the order, Spivey did not file the report until Feb. 23, 2017.

A certified letter sent on Jan. 27, and received on Feb. 1, stated that he had five days from receipt of the letter to file the report before a $25 per day fine began to accrue.

The order levying the fine was issued on June 26, 2017.

The deadline for filing as a candidate in the race was at noon on Thursday.

According to Marshall County Administrator of Elections Andrew Robertson, Spivey filed on Wednesday in Marshall County. Candidates file in their home county and then deliver certified copies of the paperwork to each of the county election offices in the district.

On Thursday, Robertson said that he heard from the state election office that Spivey was disqualified due to the unpaid fine assessed by the campaign finance office, too late for Spivey to resolve the matter and still make the noon deadline.

The 14th District Senate seat was vacated by Jim Tracy in November after he accepted an appointment to serve as the Director of Rural Development for Tennessee, a branch of the United States Department of Agriculture.

The district covers Marshall, Moore, Bedford, Lincoln, and part of Rutherford Counties.

Spivey's disqualification leaves two Rutherford County Republicans, Joe Carr and Shane Reeves, facing each other in the Republican primary.

Gayle Jordan, also of Rutherford County, is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination. She was the Democratic nominee against Jim Tracy during the last general election as well.

Early voting for the special election begins on Jan. 5, with the primaries to be held on Jan. 25

The general election for this race will be held on March 13.