May 19, 2024

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Demonstration at the Tennessee Capitol | Two former Democrats are trying to regain their seats after being kicked out

Demonstration at the Tennessee Capitol |  Two former Democrats are trying to regain their seats after being kicked out

(Nashville) Two former Democrats elected from Tennessee, who were previously ousted by their Republican colleagues, are seeking re-election or not re-election.


Justin Jones and Justin Pearson protested inside the Tennessee Capitol last week for better gun control, following a shooting in Nashville that left three children and three adults dead.

The Nashville City Council is likely to vote on Justin Jones’ return during a special meeting Monday. For its part, the Shelby County Commission plans to announce soon when it will fill the position left vacant by Justin Pearson’s exit.

The two former legislators said on Sunday’s program Meet the press, on NBC’s airwaves, they wanted to return to their activities. By-elections for their seats, dates yet to be decided, will follow in the coming months.

President Joe Biden spoke with MM. Jones and Pearson and Vice President Kamala Harris met them in Nashville.

In separate votes Thursday, the Republican majority threw out two black seats, leaving roughly 140,000 voters in the black counties of Nashville and Memphis without representation in the House.

You know, we will continue to fight for our constituents. This attack on us affects everyone in our state. You know, even though it affects black and brown communities disproportionately, it affects poor white people. This attack on democracy hurts us all.

Justin Jones

Gloria Johnson of Knoxville, the third elected Democrat to participate in the protest, was saved by one vote. Mme Johnson is white, and the disparity between his exit poll results and those of his black colleagues sparked an outcry. Republican legislators who chose to vote against deportation were Mme Johnson cited his role in the protest as minimal – for example he did not speak into a megaphone.

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House Speaker Cameron Sexton has denied the allegations of racism.

Republican leaders said the walkouts — used only a handful of times since the American Civil War — were necessary to avoid setting a precedent that disrupting lawmakers during House proceedings through protests would be tolerated.

Mr Pearson said the place was a “toxic work environment”. He cited criticism he received for wearing a black tashiki — a West African origin — instead of a jacket and tie during his debut during Black History Month in February.

“One way is to exclude us from the company because they are afraid of the changes that are happening in our society and the voices that are being raised,” said Mr. Pearson argued. Meet the press.