Mike Williams is running
again, and two Democrats will try to succeed John Wilder in the state Senate. That’s some of the news from today’s filing deadline for candidates.
Democrats are cautiously optimistic about their chances of retaking control of the Senate. To do so, they have to keep seats now held by Wilder in West Tennessee and Tommy Kilby in East Tennessee, both of whom are quitting the legislature.
Steve Butler, a Somerville lawyer and Fayette County Democratic Party chair, will try to take Wilder’s seat, along with Democrat Randy Camp, former commissioner of Personnel for Gov. Phil Bredesen and former chief of the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts.
Becky Ruppe, the county executive in Morgan County, will go after Kilby’s seat. On the Republican side, state Rep. Delores Gresham is among the Republicans running for Wilder’s seat, and Ken Yager, the former county executive of Roane County, is running in Kilby’s district.
Democrats are also hoping to knock off GOP Sen. Diane Black of Gallatin. Democrat Jim Hawkins, a lawyer who ran the Sumner County legal aid office, is challenging her. Another Democratic target is Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville. State Board of Education member Jean Anne Rogers, a Murfreesboro optometrist, is running there.