Thursday, August 28, 2014

State AG Cooper Stipulates the Rules for Filling Senate Vacancy

Voting members of Democratic and Republican committees must represent precincts which fall within confines of District 30; process is first stage of determining successor to Chancellor-elect Kyle.

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 11:35 AM

State Attorney General Robert Cooper
  • State Attorney General Robert Cooper
[AMENDED AND UPDATED] Definitive word has finally come down as to how the party nominations for state Senate District 30, to succeed Chancellor-elect Jim Kyle, must be conducted. Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper has delivered an opinion that would:

(1) require nominations to be made by the two major parties' local governing bodies — the Shelby County Democratic executive committee and the Shelby County Republican steering committee;

(2) limit the number of eligible voters to those committee members who represent precincts that lie within Senate District 30.

In the case of Democrats, who elect most of their executive committee members by House District, this effectively franchises all members representing House Districts which contain such precincts.

Republicans also elect many of their steering committee members from House Districts, but a majority of their committee members are at-large and will also be enabled to vote.

(3) require House members seeking the Senate nomination to withdraw from the November ballot before attempting to win their party’s nomination for the Senate. This requirement places a clear burden upon rumored candidates like Democratic state Reps. Antonio Parkinson and G.A. Hardaway, inasmuch as the withdrawal of either from the November ballot would necessitate a write-in campaign to fill the ballot void for their party’s House race.

Preliminary word is that the county's Democratic committee will be asked by chairman Bryan Carson to convene on September 8 to name a candidate.

All candidacies, whether by party nomination or by independents, must be certified by a date 45 days from the date of the November 4 election. That would seem to make the September 20 the effective deadline for application to the Election Commission.

Further relevant details will be posted as they are learned. Meanwhile, the full opinion of Attorney General Cooper may be accessed here: AG_Opinion_No._14-78.pdf

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