Dim future for Briggs bill to block Johnson

Sandra ClarkLet's Talk

I’m going out on a limb here to predict that Richard Briggs’ bill to prevent Gloria Johnson from running for two offices won’t become law. SB 1968 passed the Senate on Feb. 22, 2024, by a 17-15-1 vote, the bare minimum required in the 33-member chamber.

The companion bill is HB 2080 by Rep. Dave Wright. It’s scheduled for the Local Government Committee for March 26, 2024, but it’s already been deferred five times. The only reason to roll a bill that’s already passed the Senate is if the sponsor can’t count enough votes to move it.

A breakdown of the Senate vote is interesting. There are just six Democrats in the Senate. All voted no. That means nine Republicans voted no and another (Gardenhire from Chattanooga) passed.

The bill lost Republicans from rural areas. One example is Sen. Frank Niceley from Jefferson County. He said (paraphrased) the law’s been like this for 200 years, why change? Others said, “Let the voters decide.”

State Rep. Gloria Johnson is running in the August Democratic Primary for both her legislative seat and for the nomination to oppose U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn.

Is this strategically wise? Nope. It’s like a baby bird trying to fly while keeping one leg tucked in the nest.

Is state law needed to prevent it? Nope.

Will the sixth time be magic for Dave Wright? We’ll see.


“It should come as no surprise that I will not be endorsing Donald Trump this year,” former Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News.

“As the Republican leader of the Senate, it should not be a front-page headline that I will support the Republican nominee for president,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said last week.

President Joe Biden at the Gridiron Dinner: “One candidate’s too old and mentally unfit to be president. The other guy’s me.”

Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.


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