» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
X
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 44 | NO. 44 | Friday, October 30, 2020

Republicans maintain control in Tennessee Legislature

Print | Front Page | Email this story

NASHVILLE (AP) — Republicans will maintain their supermajority control of Tennessee's General Assembly after Tuesday's election as Democrats failed to make big gains in their attempt to expand their influence over the state.

As of Wednesday, Republicans had more than two-thirds control of both the House and Senate, with just one legislative race in western Tennessee still too early to call.

However, while many GOP incumbents saw comfortable wins, there were a handful of surprises.

Torrey Harris defeated longtime state Rep. John DeBerry Jr. in the race for a seat in the Tennessee Legislature representing a Memphis district.

DeBerry ran as an independent candidate after the Tennessee Democratic Party removed him in April from the ballot for the August primary election. DeBerry had represented House District 90 since 1994 as a Democrat.

Yet DeBerry was accused of voting against his caucus's position and of receiving donations from organizations and individuals who typically support only Republican candidates.

DeBerry, an ordained minister who is Black, has said he's always maintained an anti-abortion position, noting in April that he's "never tried to hide" his stance.

He voted in support of a controversial bill banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat could be detected, joining fellow Democratic Reps. John Mark Windle of Livingston and Joe Towns of Memphis in doing so. He also attracted Democratic ire after he voted with the GOP-dominated House on advancing a school voucher law that is currently blocked in court.

Harris, who is also Black, won the district primary on the Democratic side over two other candidates, Catrina Smith and Anya Parker. Harris works in human resources and has served on the boards of several community organizations.

Harris identifies as bisexual and will become one of the first two openly LGBTQ Tennessee lawmakers. The other will be Republican businessman Eddie Mannis, who is gay, and who won the race to replace GOP Rep. Martin Daniel in the Knoxville area.

Meanwhile, the only seat Democrats have gained after Tuesday's election was in the Nashville area, with Heidi Campbell defeating two-term Republican Sen. Steve Dickerson.

Dickerson is a moderate Republican who voted against the school voucher law and was notably absent when the Senate advanced a wide-sweeping anti-abortion law earlier this year.

Buoyed by record-breaking early and absentee voting during a pandemic, Tennessee saw more than 3 million voters cast ballots in the presidential race. That easily topped turnouts of more than 2.5 million Tennesseans in the 2016 general election and 2.6 million in the 2008 November election.

___

Associated Press writer Adrian Sainz contributed to this report from Memphis, Tennessee.

___

Find AP's full election coverage at https://apnews.com/hub/election-2020.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
Name
Email  
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0