VOL. 132 | NO. 120 | Friday, June 16, 2017
Vaughan Wins State House District 95 Seat
By Bill Dries
Collierville school board member Kevin Vaughan is the newest member of the Shelby County delegation to the Tennessee Legislature.
Vaughan, the Republican nominee for state Representative District 95, won the Thursday, June 15, special general election to fill the vacant House seat. He beat Democratic nominee Julie Byrd-Ashworth and independent candidates Robert Schutt and Jim Tomasik.
With all 18 precincts reporting, the final unofficial results were:
Once the Shelby County Election Commission certifies the results, Vaughan will fill the seat vacated by the resignation in February of Republican state Representative Mark Lovell. Lovell resigned less than a month into his two-year term of office after upsetting incumbent Curry Todd in the 2016 Republican legislative primaries.
Lovell was accused of inappropriately touching a legislative employee. He denied any improper conduct but resigned. An internal House investigation concluded Lovell did what he was accused of doing.
The district covers Collierville and parts of Germantown and Eads.
Vaughan and Byrd-Ashworth emerged as winners in the April special primary elections. Byrd-Ashworth ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, while Vaughan was at the top of a field of seven in the Republican primary.
Local Democrats put a lot of effort into Byrd-Ashworth’s campaign citing the 2016 upset by Democrat Dwayne Thompson of Republican incumbent Steve McManus in the race for neighboring state House District 96.
Local Republicans anticipated Democrats might be encouraged to mount a similar challenge because of that and because of the allegation against Lovell.
With more than half of the 5,000 votes cast in the special general election during the early voting period, Vaughan began Thursday’s vote count with a commanding lead, taking the early vote by 940 votes – a lead that Byrd-Ashworth could not overcome.