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Tennessee bill to limit candidates to run for 1 position held a week


(The Center Square) – A bill that would prevent Tennessee politicians from running for two public offices at the same time was pushed back one week in the Senate on Thursday.

Sen. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville, said Senate Bill 1968 pre-dates Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, running for the U.S. Senate against Marsha Blackburn and for her house seat.

He said it originated with a candidate running for both mayor and alderman two years ago. The vice mayor of the un-named city came to Briggs and he said he began working with the Tennessee Department of Elections on a bill.

“This bill precedes any accusations that are coming from the House,” Briggs said.

Briggs said the bill has two parts, with the section allowing a candidate to only file and appear on the ballot for one office and for a candidate to only hold one office at a time. There is a grandfather clause that allows a candidate to serve out a term from a prior election.

“If we are a conservative legislator and we want to be good stewards of the taxpayer’s dollars, if we decline one of those offices literally the next day the local election commission will have to start planning a special election,” Briggs said before rolling the bill for a week. “A special election costs hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

The bill comes as 7th Congressional Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., announced he would not run for another term in Congress and instead “will continue serving this country – but in a new capacity” he wrote in a statement.

Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry is running for the seat, saying “Mark Green announced today he is dropping out and leaving behind a broken Congress that has failed to deliver for the American people” in a statement on social media.