Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop! ‘Expelled’ Tennessee Democrats Win Back State House Seats
Both freshman legislators, who were expelled from the House in April 2023 for protesting gun violence, have won both their seats back, the Associated Press reports.
As members of the “Tennessee Three,” Jones and Pearson advanced to reclaim their seats during a special election on August 3, 2023. Both faced serious opponents in heavily-favored Democratic districts which made it easy to defeat them.
Lawmakers are preparing to return to Nashville later this month for a special session addressing the possibility of changing the state’s gun control laws.
Jones, representing Nashville, defeated Republican candidate Laura Nelson while Pearson from Memphis, sent independent candidate Jeff Johnston home.
Pearson spoke to supporters after his win, saying that he had every intention on continuing his fight regardless of his GOP colleagues trying to stop him and praised Black women for having his back.
“I think if we keep running this race, there will be victory after victory after victory,” Pearson said.
However, the work on the Democratic side needs to continue as their victories are small wins against the heavily populated Republican House, but the two lawmakers are not holding back. Shortly after declaring victory, Jones sent a tweet addressing Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton, who was the leader of his and Pearson’s expulsion.
“Well, Mr. Speaker, the People have spoken. The FIND OUT era of politics is just beginning. See you August 21st for special session,” Jones tweeted.
Well, Mr. Speaker, the People have spoken.
The FIND OUT era of politics is just beginning.
See you August 21st for special session. pic.twitter.com/DoL3XvYheX
— Rep. Justin Jones (@brotherjones_) August 4, 2023
Pearson piggybacked off his colleagues sentiments and took the time to state that they are just getting started.
“This is only the beginning for this Movement. We will organize, mobilize and activate to work tirelessly for the day when there are no more calls to respond to mass shootings and gun violence,” he said in a statement, according to NBC News. “I look forward to heading back to the Tennessee state capitol Aug. 21 for the special session on gun legislation. We, the People, will march, rally and work to pass legislation.”