Republican wins Tennessee House special election

A special general election was held for District 77 of the Tennessee House of Representatives on December 19, 2019. Rusty Grills (R) won the special election with 3,344 votes and defeated Michael Smith (D), Max Smith (I), Ronnie Henley (I), and Billy Jones (I).

The primary was held on November 5, 2019. The filing deadline passed on September 26, 2019.

The special election was called after Bill Sanderson (R) resigned his seat on July 24, 2019, citing family and business demands. Casey Hood (R) was appointed as an interim representative by the Obion County Commission, serving until the special election was held for a permanent representative. Hood was defeated by Grills in the Republican primary.

Republicans have a 73-26 majority in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Tennessee has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.

As of November, 77 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 24 states this year. Eighteen special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 11 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.

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About the author

Tyler King

Tyler King is a staff writer at Ballotpedia and can be reached at tyler.king@ballotpedia.org

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