School Choice Supporters Victorious in Tennessee Elections
The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, congratulates the myriad of candidates who support educational choice on their successes in today’s general election in Tennessee. The election results are in line with numerous public opinion polls of Tennessee voters that have found strong, bipartisan support for school choice.
Statement from Shaka Mitchell, Tennessee State Director for the American Federation for Children:
“Tonight’s results confirm recent statewide polling – that Tennessee voters overwhelmingly prefer candidates who support increasing parental choice in education. Research shows that there is no one way to school and students need options that match their interests and talents. Great schools are found in all sectors: zoned, public charter, independent, and home school, and I am confident that this new wave of elected officials will continue Tennessee’s upward trajectory by empowering parents with meaningful access to the best education for their children.”
AFC-TN Election Highlights
- Governor – Bill Lee (R) – Open seat – WIN
- SD 9 – Mike Bell (R) – Incumbent – WIN
- SD 13 – Dawn White (R) – Open seat – WIN
- SD 31 – Brian Kelsey (R) – Incumbent – WIN
- HD 10 – Rick Eldridge (R) – Open seat – WIN
- HD 18 – Martin Daniel (R) – Incumbent – WIN
- HD 23 – Mark Cochran (R) – Open seat – WIN
- HD 24 – Mark Hall (R) – Open seat – WIN
- HD 26 – Robin Smith (R) – Open seat – WIN
- HD 37 – Charlie Baum (R) – Open seat – WIN
- HD 45 – Johnny Garrett (R) – Open seat – WIN
- HD 46 – Clark Boyd (R) – Incumbent – WIN
- HD 47 – Rush Bricken (R) – Open seat – WIN
- HD 73 – Chris Todd (R) – Open seat – WIN
- HD 75 – Bruce Griffey (R) – Challenger – WIN
- HD 76 – Andy Holt (R) – Incumbent – WIN
- HD 83 – Mark White (R) – Incumbent – WIN
- HD 85 – Jesse Chism (D) – Open seat – WIN
- HD 89 – Justin Lafferty (R) – Open seat – WIN
- HD 90 – John DeBerry, Jr. (D) – Incumbent – WIN
The Tennessee Federation for Children PAC supported many champions of school choice who won their general election campaigns. Following are highlights based upon results posted by the Tennessee Secretary of State at the time of release:
Williamson County businessman Bill Lee handily won both the Republican primary (in August) and today’s general election, defeating Democrat Karl Dean. Lee has consistently talked about the need to extend Tennessee’s recent education gains to every community: suburban, rural, and urban, and using school choice as a vehicle for this progress. Williamson County boasts some of the top-performing public schools in the state while also experiencing some of the highest private school participation statewide, showing that school choice isn’t merely linked to the quality of schools – parents fundamentally want to choose the best educational setting for their children.
Representative John DeBerry, Jr., returns to the state House after a convincing primary win and uncontested general election. Voters in his district ranked education as one of their most important issues, and Rep. DeBerry has made education reform one of his top priorities during his tenure in the General Assembly.
Senator Brian Kelsey will continue to represent the 31st Senate District of Tennessee. Educational choices abound in Sen. Kelsey’s district, and he is a long-time champion of increasing the school options available to families across the state.
Newly elected Representatives Robin Smith, Mark Cochran, Rick Eldridge, and Mark Hall all hail from east Tennessee and are set to bring new energy and urgency to the 2019 legislature.
The American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.