Primary Elections Confirm Tennessee’s Bi-Partisan Support of Parental Choice

Tennessee Federation for Children PAC (TFC PAC) congratulates the winners of today’s primary election. More General Assembly seats were at stake in this year’s Tennessee statewide primary election than at any other time in state history. The primary results confirm what statewide polling shows – voters, no matter their political affiliation or whether they are from East, Middle, or West Tennessee support increased parental choice in education. Nearly a third of the Tennessee lower chamber legislators will be new in 2019. A majority of these legislators have expressed their commitment to giving families meaningful access to the educational setting that best meet a child’s needs.

We congratulate Jesse Chism on winning the crowded Democratic primary in House District 85. Mr. Chism, a proud graduate of Morehouse College and Union University, has a history of serving his community and, especially given his classroom experience, knows the power of a quality education.

TFC PAC commends Mark Cochran for defeating Trey Winder in House District 23. Despite substantial support from the nationally-affiliated teachers’ union, Winder could not overcome Mr. Cochran’s message and appeal to actual teachers on the ground. Throughout the campaign Mr. Cochran expressed his commitment to support both teachers and parents in the community.

Congratulations to winners Rush Bricken, Rick Eldridge, Mark Hall, and Dave Wright. This group is poised to bring with them not only the experience of having served in elected roles at the county level, but also a renewed sense of urgency for bold education reform in the House.

Statement from Shaka Mitchell, Tennessee State Director for the American Federation for Children: 

“In addition to congratulating the many primary winners who are positioned to be first-time General Assembly members, I also want to congratulate and thank incumbent Rep. John DeBerry, Jr. (D) for earning the right to continue representing his constituents. Rep. DeBerry is a long-time supporter of parental choice and he shows that educational access is truly a bi-partisan issue.

“Tennessee Federation for Children PAC is also proud to support current Representative Dawn White in her bid to fill the open seat in Senate District 13. Rep. White has been a school choice champion for years, and she knows that there is no “one-size-fits-all” school model. Her commitment to serve every child, regardless of geography or socio-economic status, is nothing new. We look forward to working with her for years to come.

“Finally, in the race to be Tennessee’s next Governor, I am pleased to see two candidates who have expressed support for school choice move forward. During the campaign Republican Bill Lee repeatedly stressed the importance of empowering parents through various school choice vehicles such as education savings accounts and charter schools. Likewise, Democrat Karl Dean has a record of supporting parents in Nashville and their right to access school options such as public charter schools. I hope both continue to make decisions that are student-centered so Tennessee continues to climb the national education rankings.”