VOL. 131 | NO. 220 | Thursday, November 3, 2016
More Than $16M Flows to Tennessee Legislative Candidates
By ERIK SCHELZIG, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – More than $16 million in political contributions has flowed to candidates running for seats in the Tennessee General Assembly this year.
That total includes $1.5 million given to candidates in the final reporting period before next week's general election.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, a Collierville Republican with no Democratic opponent this year, has quietly led the way with more than $655,000 in receipts so far.
Norris is among several potential gubernatorial candidates to succeed term-limited Gov. Bill Haslam in 2018. Others include Republican Sen. Mark Green of Clarksville and House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville. Each has raised about $515,000.
Republican Sen. Steve Dickerson has brought in $625,000 for his race against Democrat Erin Coleman in his closely divided Nashville District. About $120,000 of that amount has come in the form of direct and in-kind contributions from the Senate Republican Caucus, which has spent another $669,000 on anti-Coleman advertising in October alone.
Coleman campaign received some free publicity on Wednesday when she was endorsed by President Barack Obama.
The top 12 recipients are Republicans, combining for more than $5.3 million in donations.
Democrat Gloria Johnson has received about $233,000 for her bid to reclaim the Knoxville seat she lost to Republican Rep. Eddie Smith two years ago.
The Tennessee Relators PAC has been the top donor to Statehouse candidates, giving a total of $258,000. The next highest contributor was the Senate Republican Caucus with $233,000, followed by the Tennessee Bankers Association PAC with $230,000 and $177,000 from the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of Tennessee.
Early voting for next week's election ends Thursday.
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