The filing deadline to run for federal and state office in this summer’s primary came on April 7, locking in place a competitive fray for Williamson County’s four State House seats and a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
However, a three-judge panel in the Tennessee 20th Judicial District ruled April 6 to block the state General Assembly from implementing recently redrawn district maps for State Senate races.
The district lines must be redrawn within 15 days, or the court may impose its own alternative map, according to the ruling.
The ruling in the lawsuit, Moore vs. Lee, also extended the filing deadline for State Senate candidates from April 7 to May 5, according to the Williamson County Election Commission.
For the time being, redistricting maps for Tennessee House districts, which are also challenged in the suit, will remain unchanged, according to the Tennessee Office of the Secretary of State.
The Senate and House maps at issue were finalized earlier this year at the state and county level with the intent of assuring each district had more equal population sizes and complying with the state and U.S. constitutions.
In the lawsuit complaint, filed on behalf of Tennessee Democrats, it is alleged the Tennessee General Assembly “engaged in unprecedented reapportionment of voters ... to ensure maximum partisan advantage.”
As of the initial April 7 deadline, incumbent State Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, was set to face fellow Republican Gary Humble.
In the 65th district, State Rep. Sam Whitson, R-Franklin, a Republican who has held his seat since 2016, faces a challenge from Erika Carouthers, a fellow Republican.
Five candidates have filed petitions to vie for the state house seat in District 63 that is up for grabs as longtime State Rep. Glen Casada plans to step down in January.
In that race, Republicans A.J. Bahou, Laurie Cardozo Moore, Jake McCalmon and James A. Sloan, and Democrat Kisha Davis have filed petitions to replace Casada.
In the 61st District, State Rep. Brandon Ogles, who has represented that area since 2017 and was elected twice in 2018 and 2020, announced last week he was dropping out of the race, leaving only Republican challenger Gina Bulso on the ballot in the district.
In District 92, incumbent State Rep. Todd Warner, R-Chapel Hill, will be challenged by three candidates: two Republicans, Jeff Ford and Matt Fitterer; and a Democrat, Angela Hughes.
Four GOP candidates are vying to fill the 5th District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives that is up for grabs after U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper announced in January he would not run for re-election. Cooper has represented the district since 2003. On the ballot for the Congressional seat are Omar L. Hamada, Robert Starbuck Newsome, David M. Vitalli and Kurt Winstead.
In the upcoming local and state elections in Williamson County, a number of deadlines are also in place to register to vote:
The voter registration deadline for the Aug. 4 primary remains July 5.
The early voting period for the August primary will be July 15-30.
In county and local primaries set for a May 3, the early voting period will be April 13-28.
For more information, visit the election website at www.williamsonvotes.net, or call the election commission office at 615-790-5711.
Williamson County August primary federal and state races set even as redistricting legal challenge advances
Registered voters in Williamson County can vote at any polling location in the county. (Courtesy Unsplash)