Republican candidate Becky Duncan Massey will be the next state senator in the Sixth District, according to unofficial election results posted by the Knox County Election Commission. With about 35 percent of precincts reporting, Democratic Party candidate Gloria Johnson had received 34 percent of the vote to Massey’s 67 percent in the heavily Republican district.
The seat was made vacant in July when former Sen. Jamie Woodson resigned to take a job in the education advocacy nonprofit SCORE. Sue Atchley served as the interim senator. The 6th remains in the Republican column, so the ratio of Republicans to Democrats remains unchanged.
Massey will be up for re-election in 2012, as the even-numbered Senate seats are on the ballot.
The City of Knoxville holds its mayoral runoff on Tuesday as well, and there are other municipal elections scheduled around the state. It’s getting a little late now, but check with your county election commission to determine for sure if there is an election in your area.
Andy Sher examines a rich swathe of Tennessee’s political history by stacking-up Weston Wamp’s bid for the Third District seat his father recently held against the fortunes of other politicians’ sons and daughters. One forgets just how many names in our electoral lexicon have been names that previous generations knew well. Baker, Clement, Cooper, Duncan, Ford, Gore, McWherter, and Turner are just some of the families that have contributed more than one member.
It’s a tradition that goes back at least as far as President John Quincy Adams. As the article points out, not all such campaigns are successful. Mike McWherter tested the waters for a 2008 run against U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, then quickly decided that the temperature was icy. Two years later, he was all in for another statewide race, this time for governor. His opponent prevailed.
There’s one more local example of political offspring: Oscar Brock, son of former U.S. Sen. Bill Brock, ran for the state Senate seat vacated by former Sen. Ward Crutchfield (another political family, with ties to still others). The younger Brock happened to lose that election, but I felt it was worth mentioning here because it was a particularly amicable campaign, in both the GOP primary that Oscar won and the general election against the eventual winner, Sen. Andy Berke.
Becky Duncan Massey bested two Republican rivals for the nomination in the special election to replace former Sen. Jamie Woodson in the Sixth Senate District. Knoxville City Councilwoman Marilyn Roddy received 39 percent of the vote to Massey’s 49 percent, according to unofficial results published in the Knoxville News Sentinel. Victoria DeFreese ended up with the remaining 12 percent.
Massey will face Democratic Party nominee Gloria Johnson in the November 8 general election. The district is currently drawn to favor Republican candidates, so Johnson will have to meet an uphill challenge.
Massey is from a well-known political family. Her father, former Congressman John J. Duncan Sr., was also a former mayor of Knoxville. Massey’s brother, U.S. Rep. John J. (“Jimmy”) Duncan Jr., currently represents the Second District. And her nephew, John Duncan III, is Trustee of Knox County. It is therefore almost excusable that the newspaper led its “subhed” with Massey’s maiden name, as pictured below:
In case there's any doubt, Massey is of the Duncan family.
As is so often the case, turnout was critical in this special election. When so few citizens bother to show up, a campaign with a solid get-out-the-vote apparatus can wield significant leverage.
The City of Knoxville also held elections on Tuesday. The top two vote-getters in the mayoral race, Madeline Rogero and Mark Padgett, will face each other in a runoff election on November 8.
As early voting gets underway in the special election to replace former state Sen. Jamie Woodson, candidates running in the Republican primary are announcing approval from a number of stakeholder groups.
Our choice in the Republican primary to replace Woodson is City Councilwoman Marilyn Roddy.
Roddy would bring to the seat an impressive command of the issues facing state government, experience working with Gov. Bill Haslam when he was mayor and a strong emphasis on education shared with Woodson.
She says creating jobs and expanding the economy are the most important issues facing state government during this period economic instability.
Meanwhile, Becky Duncan Massey’s campaign recorded an announcement by no fewer than eight former chairs of the Knox County Republican Party, and uploaded it to YouTube:
Two of the candidates heralded their 100% rating from an anti-abortion organization, although the group declined to make an official endorsement of any candidate. Roddy stated, “I am humbled to have the support of Tennessee’s oldest and largest pro-life organization. My commitment to life is unwavering. As a mother I know how important it is to have leaders in public office who set an example by honoring the sanctity of human life.”
Victoria DeFreese also earned the top rating from the group. Blogger Brian Hornback reported that they feel she is “a strong option” for like-minded voters in the district.
From Tennessee Right to Life’s website:
In the special election to fill Woodson’s seat in senate district 6, Tennessee Right to Life PAC has not made any endorsement. We express our appreciation for the commitment of each candidate to public service and encourage each pro-life voter to carefully consider the public statements, records, and positions of the candidates in an effort to elect the most effective advocate for the cause of life.