Wayne County voters turned out in moderate numbers last week to cast their votes in the County, State, & Federal Election. Incumbent Governor of Tennessee Bill Lee was voted to be our Tennessee Governor for the next four years. Lee, a Republican, won handily against his closest competitor, Jason Brantley Martin. Lee received 86.6% of the Wayne County vote, while Brantley, a Democrat received 11.1%.
The seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives 71st District vacated by David “Coach” Byrd was on the ballot as well. Republican Kip Capley won the seat by a large margin over Democrat David P. Carson II. Capley won 1,221 votes (88.1%) in Wayne County, while Carson received 201 votes (11.9%).
At the Federal level, U.S. House of Representatives 7th Congressional District incumbent Mark Green was voted to retain his seat, achieving a near landslide of the Wayne County vote. Green, a Republican, took 88.1% of the Wayne County vote with 1,257 votes. Democrat Odessa Kelly had 10.7% of the Wayne County vote with 193 votes.
Bill Lee, Kip Capley, and Mark Green each won all of the Wayne County precincts.
On the ballot for the Collinwood City Commission were only two candidates, Shaundale Hanback and Kimberly O. McFall. These candidates will fill the seats of retiring commissioners Danny Sandusky and Butch Kephart. Both candidates received many complimentary votes, with Hanback garnering 60 votes and McFall getting 53 votes.
Six candidates were on the ballot for the three seats available on the Clifton City Commission. The candidates on the ballot were Jeremy “Tree” Davis, Michael A. Francis, Jeff Letson, James Newcomb, Tammy Prince, and Gindy Shelby. These three seats were vacated by commissioners Stacey Huntingford, Randy Burns, and Layton Packwood, all of whom chose not to seek re-election. Jeff Letson had the most votes with 146 (25%). Closely behind was Michal A. Francis, who received 130 votes (22%). Tammy Prince earned the third seat on the commission with 89 votes (15%). The other three candidates earned a respectable number of votes, with Gindy Shelby garnering 77 votes (13%), Jeff Letson earning 75 votes (13%), and Jeremy “Tree” Davis with 67 votes (11%).
Tennessee voters last Tuesday also voted on four amendments to the State Constitution, and all four amendments were passed.
Amendment 1 garnered 70% of the state’s vote and swept all 95 counties, despite strong opposition from unions. Proponents have said the measure will guarantee that workers can’t be compelled to join unions or pay union dues. Opponents pointed out that Tennessee since 1947 has had a right to law measure on its books. Amendment 1 garnered 20.9% of the Wayne County votes for “yes,” while only 6.4% of Wayne County voters cast a “no” vote.
Tennessee voters also approved Amendment 2. This amendment outlines a line of succession should the governor be temporarily unable to perform the duties of office. The amendment gives the lieutenant governor the authority to step into the role. Previously, the lieutenant governor would have had to resign from his or her seat before temporarily taking charge. Amendment 2 received 16.2% (748 “yes” votes) in Wayne County, with only 6.8% voting “no.”
Amendment 3, which passed by a landslide in the state vote, replaces archaic language that has lingered since just after the Civil War saying “slavery and involuntary servitude” are fit punishments for crime. The passage will now be replaced with unequivocal language that says: “slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited in this State.” Wayne Countians approved this amendment with 18.06% of the county’s vote vs. 7.2% of voters saying “no.”
Voters also approved Amendment 4, repealing a long-disregarded ban on members of the clergy serving in the Tennessee General Assembly. The amendment passed with 63.2% of the state vote, but it also garnered the most “no” votes of any of the four constitutional amendments. Wayne County approved the amendment with 16.1% of the vote, as opposed to 8.5% of “no” votes.
For a complete breakdown of all voting precincts in Wayne County and the number of votes cast for each candidate, see page 11 in this edition of The News.