NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — One of the “Tennessee Three” is officially on his way to a special election.
Rep. Justin Jones of Nashville filed for reelection Wednesday for the June 15 special primary election. He currently holds his former seat for District 52 as interim after being expelled from the seat by the Tennessee General Assembly.
The Tennessee House of Representatives expelled the legislator following his decision to take part in a gun reform protest on the House floor the week after the Covenant School shooting, which saw three children and three school staff members murdered. He and Memphis Democrat Justin Pearson were both expelled, while Knoxville Democrat Gloria Johnson, who also joined in the House floor protest, was not expelled.
Both Jones and Pearson were both reappointed to their seats by the Metro Nashville and Shelby County governing bodies within a few days.
“This is the first step in the Democratic process to restore full representation to our district and challenge the authoritarian decision made on April 6 to expel us,” Jones tweeted Wednesday.
Jones is the only Democrat who filed for the seat, securing a simple primary victory already.
But he will face a challenger in the Aug. 3 general election, as one Republican also filed for candidacy in the race. Laura Nelson, First Vice Chair of the Davidson County Republican Party, will face off against Jones.
“While I have a Republican opponent, this election is about so much more than a single candidate or campaign,” Jones tweeted. “This election is a referendum on democracy. Join us in the fight to protect kids, not guns.”
According to Jeff Roberts, Davidson County Elections Administrator, the District 52 primary election will cost approximately $70,000 for Metro Nashville-Davidson County, but the state will reimburse Metro for the cost.
Additionally, he told News 2 via email, the primary election will not have an early voting period since each ballot—Republican and Democrat—only has one candidate.
The House 52 general election will see minimal costs since it coincides with the Metro general election, Roberts added.