Tennessee Right to Life Election Report: Fall Out From SJR 127 Continues
· No Pro-Life Incumbent Defeated
· Pro-Lifers Win High Profile State Senate Races
· 11 of 12 New State Representatives are Pro-Life
· Pro-Abortion Naifeh Contest Sullied With Severe Election Irregularities
At the time of this update at 12 a.m. (CST), results from the critical, high profile contest between pro-life physician Jesse Cannon and pro-abortion Jimmy Naifeh had not been made public. Severe balloting irregularities were being reported by officials with the Cannon campaign and grave concern continues to be focused on the possibility of efforts to unduly influence or manipulate the outcome of the election in Tipton and Haywood counties. It is reported that the FBI has been called in to investigate possible fraud or illegal activities.
To express your concern, contact the Tipton County Election Commission at 901-476-0223 and Haywood County Election Commission at 901-772-1760.
Wins in Tuesday’s general election brought the number of reliable pro-life votes in the state Senate to 19 of 33, an increase of three seats over the 2003-04 legislative session. Pro-life challengers Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) and Diane Black (R-Gallatin) defeated pro-abortion incumbents Larry Trail and Jo Ann Graves, both of whom opposed SJR 127 in 12 of 13 senate floor votes. Pro-life physician Raymond Finney (R-Maryville), outgoing president of Blount County Right to Life, won his general election after having defeated pro-abortion incumbent Bill Clabough in the Republican primary. Clabough also opposed passage of pro-life SJR 127.
In addition, pro-life Jamie Hagood won her election to succeed pro-life state Senator Ben Atchley who retired in May. 7 of 10 state senate candidates endorsed by TRL PAC won their races.
“After tonight’s victories, there is no question that any piece of pro-life legislation will enjoy majority support in Tennessee’s state Senate,” said Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life. “Each of the newly elected state Senators has demonstrated their commitment to restoring common sense protections for human life in Tennessee.”
In the state House, pro-life forces won more than 75% of endorsed races including those of both pro-life Democrats and pro-life Republicans. 47 of 62 state House candidates endorsed by TRL PAC won their races.
11 of 12 newly elected, first term state representatives are pro-life including 10 republicans and 1 pro-life democrat. The eleven include: Matthew Hill, Parkey Strader, Frank Niceley, Stacey Campfield, Eric Swafford, Gerald McCormick, Bo Watson, Debra Maggart, Gary Moore (D), Curtis Johnson, and Brian Kelsey.
Of particular interest, pro-life challenger Curtis Johnson (R-Clarksville) defeated strongly pro-abortion Tommy Head who introduced the failed amendment to divert proceeds from the Choose Life plate to pro-life agencies.
Pro-life Democrat Gary Moore (D-Nashville) won his general election after having defeated pro-abortion Tim Garrett in the August primary.
Pro-life Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough) won his general election after having defeated pro-abortion Bob Patton.
Pro-life Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) won his election for the seat previously held by pro-abortion Republican Joe Kent.
Sadly, however, despite such wins, only 48 of 99 House members can safely be depended upon to support the pro-life position. This number includes 6 pro-life Democrats.