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Tennessee U.S. Senate Democratic 2024 primary candidates and who’s running for Congress

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Tennessee U.S. Senate Democratic 2024 primary candidates and who’s running for Congress


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Republican U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn is running for a second term, and Democrats will have a primary on Aug. 1 to determine who faces her in November.

In East Tennessee congressional races, there are no primaries but the candidates are set and we interviewed them in preparation for the general election.

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Below are the responses from the candidates who met with Knox News reporters and editors for an interview.

U.S. Senate

Republican

Marsha Blackburn, incumbent, 72, Republican, politician

Could not be reached.

Democrats

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Marquita Bradshaw, 50, Democrat, community organizer

Could not be reached.

Gloria Johnson, 61, Democrat, retired educator

Why are you running? (from in-person interview)

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Johnson is running for both the U.S. Senate and to retain her seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. She’s eyeing Washington because she feels Tennessee’s current federal delegation isn’t serving working families, she told Knox News they’re not bringing legislation that makes life better for Tennesseans.  

How would you approach representing the entire state? (from in-person interview)

Johnson said while she represents only parts of Knoxville, her votes matter across the whole state. She said she has experience working statewide because she often talks with Democrats in counties that don’t have Democratic representatives. As a candidate, she emphasized the importance of traveling to all counties in the state because different areas have different needs.  

Civil Miller-Watkins, 58, Democrat, educator

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Why are you running? (from in-person interview)

Miller-Watkins is running because she wants to be a voice for Tennessee’s rural communities. She said there isn’t a Tennessee senator speaking out for rural communities, which is important because agriculture is a big part of Tennessee’s identity. She said her experience on the Fayette County school board and working with federal funds there has introduced her to the federal government. She’s best suited to fight for families because she’s surrounded by family members in various stages of life.  

You’re in a crowded Democratic primary. How do you edge out your opponents? (from in-person interview)

Miller-Watkins said her lived experiences will set her apart from her opponents. She’s lived all over the state so she’s familiar with the different needs of Tennessee’s unique regions. As a teacher, she said, she’s seen gun safety issues play out every day. Her experience as a mother have opened her eyes to imbalances in maternal healthcare for people of color. She said she’s appealing to people by letting them know one of her opponents is running two races and the other has run before and lost.

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U.S. House of Representatives

District 2

Tim Burchett, incumbent, 59, Republican, politician

Declined to participate.

Jane George, 61, Democrat, business owner

What is the most important issue voters are talking to you about? (from in-person interview)

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George said she’s running her campaign through the lens of women’s rights because issues across the spectrum affect women disproportionally. Because women in Tennessee are fed up with their representatives not supporting their rights. The distinction of “pro-abortion” and “anti-abortion” is a personal choice, she said, but she’ll always fight for women to make that decision on their own. She also hopes to raise women’s platform in the workforce and to establish a living, sustainable and equal wage for women in Tennessee.  

You’re running in the general election against an incumbent who has enjoyed electoral success for decades. How will you sway voters who are so used to voting for him? (from in-person interview)

George said people, including Republicans, are unhappy with their current representation. She said there isn’t enough being done to help women in East Tennessee get the health care they need, and she’s the best option to fight for that care. She hopes to emphasize that improving women’s rights will help the nation’s economy. “More women are being admitted into universities than men, more women are graduating than men and more are admitted to graduate school than men,” she said. She wants to stop giving tax breaks to big corporations and help lower-income families.  

District 3

Jack Allen, 73, Democrat, retired bank president

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Why are you running? (from in-person interview)

Allen said he got in the race because he wants voters to have an option besides the incumbent. He said he’s been surrounded by strong women his entire life and wants to be a voice for women in health care and workplace conversations. Instead of current legislators bringing people together, he sees people being pulled apart. He also has accounting experience and knows the legislators are not being financially responsible.  

How do you plan on representing constituents who you believe deserve stronger representation? (from in-person interview)

Allen touted his ability to surround himself with people who are experts in their fields. He knows he won’t be able to fix everything, but he wants to listen to people who know their craft to tackle one issue at a time. When it comes to aiding what he called a medical care desert in his district, Allen wants to bring medical professionals to the table and consider changing the country’s health care system. He knows people in congress are focused on getting reelected, which prevents them from having tough conversations that make a difference. He said he’s different because he doesn’t need a career in government, he just wants to change the status quo.  

Chuck Fleischmann, incumbent, 61, Republican, attorney

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What are you proud of from your time serving in the House? Why should voters elect you for another term? (from in-person interview)

Fleischmann has used his seven terms in office to move through leadership ranks. He’s the chair of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development on the House Committee on Appropriations and serves on the defense subcommittee. Fleischmann’s district is home to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Y-12 National Security Complex, and he told Knox News the committee positions he’s worked for allow him to secure even more funding and attention for those assets. He also touted his ability to use earmarks to direct funding towards projects that help his district and his ability to assist the other Tennessee representatives and Gov. Bill Lee.  

How do you address the growing dissatisfaction that so many voters have with the political system? (from in-person interview)

Fleischmann referenced his time witnessing fights between Republicans and Democrats over the U.S.-Mexico border. He said divisiveness is present in both bodies of Congress and the electorate has gotten more polarized, to the point where people can’t even have conversations. “I used to blame Congress for that, but it’s reflective of the bitter polarization we see with our constituents,” he said. He said polarization comes from low voter turnout and combatting that starts in the schools and with strong election integrity. He said he doesn’t care for the weighted voting system states like Maine and Alaska use.  

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Jean Howard-Hill, independent

Could not be reached.

Stephen “Scooter” King, independent

Could not be reached.

Miller-Watkins said her lived experiences will set her apart from her opponents. She’s lived all over the state so she’s familiar with the different needs of Tennessee’s unique regions. As a teacher, she said, she’s seen gun safety issues play out every day. Her experience as a mother have opened her eyes to imbalances in maternal healthcare for people of color. She said she’s appealing to people by letting them know one of her opponents is running two races and the other has run before and lost.  

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Tennessee

VolReport – Tennessee football releases ‘Volunteer State’ Smokey Grey uniforms

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VolReport  –  Tennessee football releases ‘Volunteer State’ Smokey Grey uniforms


Less than 50 days out from its 2024 season opener, Tennessee released a new alternate uniform on Saturday.

Continuing its Smokey Grey series, the Vols will wear a version that leans into the state flag of Tennessee, featuring the tri-star logo this season.

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The helmet features the Power T with the smoky mountains and an orange and white stripe with three stars.

The tri-star logo is featured on both shoulders with “Tennessee” across the chest plate while the numbers are orange with white trim.

Tennessee began wearing Smokey grey uniforms in 2013 and release an updated version after the school signed an apparel deal with Nike ahead of the 2015 season.

Tennessee announced in 2022 that it would wear a unique version each season over a three-year period.

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Last season, the Vols wore Smokey Grey uniforms honoring former player Condredge Holloway—the first black quarterback to start for an SEC team in 1972.

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Tennessee

Drought effects East Tennessee community food and jobs

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Drought effects East Tennessee community food and jobs


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) – Tennessee is facing its worst drought in years and the Beardsley Community Farm is feeling the impact.

“It feels like things just get crispier and crispier every week,” farm manager Lia Bevins said.

But the heat is now hurting their output by about 95%.

“This week last year, we were harvesting around 1,000 pounds of tomatoes every week,” Bevins said. “But this year, at least this week, its been less than about 50 pounds.”

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The farm supplies produce to food pantries in the area and they have not been able to with the drought.

“A lot of the numbers are lower than they would have been, and so each of those pantries are depending on that produce and it’s just not able to make it out to those communities in as high of numbers as it would have in the past,” she said.

However, food is not the only thing taking a hit. Owner of St. John Lawn Care said that mowing is 60% of his revenue, and now the money is drying up.

The grass is not growing, causing a dip in business.

“Normally every week it needs to be cut but this time, you show up and it’s the exact same height as it was last Friday,” he said.

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But the company has plans to combat the issue.

“We’re having to switch the kinds of services we’re offering,” St. John said. “Pulling out bushes, trimming bushes, pulling out weeds, mulch, its a great time of year to do that.”

Join us on the WVLT First Alert Weather app for iPhone or Android to stay informed on the go and between newscasts. We share custom videos, and you can receive our messages on the latest conditions and forecasts.



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Will Voter Turnout in Tennessee Remain Dismally Low?

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Will Voter Turnout in Tennessee Remain Dismally Low?



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Posted at 6:00 PM, Jul 12, 2024



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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As we approach the August 1 Primary Election, Steve Cavendish, editor of the Nashville Banner, joins this edition to discuss what hopeful candidates are campaigning for.

Copyright 2024 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.





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