Press Releases

Winning Candidates in Competitive Legislative Primaries Were Rewarded for Putting Students First

NASHVILLE — Team Kid PAC and Tennesseans for Student Success (TSS) are celebrating candidate victories in key state primary races this week and recognizing the critical role public school choice, education reform, and supporting Tennessee students played in reshaping the Tennessee General Assembly.

Leading up to the August 4th state primary, Team Kid PAC focused its effort on informing voters about candidate positions and voting records around the issues that most directly impact the achievement and opportunities of Tennessee public school students.

Engaging in twelve primary races across the state, including eight open seats and two incumbent challenges, Team Kid PAC supported candidates were successful in 11 primary elections – a success rate of more than 90 percent. Each of those victories can be clearly defined by the candidate’s positions on prioritizing students, empowering parents, and expanding education choices for families.

Team Kid PAC Supported Candidates:

  • House District 18: Elaine Davis
  • House District 20: Bryan Richey
  • House District 35: William Slater
  • House District 40: Michael Hale
  • House District 61: Gino Bulso
  • House District 63: Jake McCalmon
  • House District 69: Jody Barrett
  • House District 79: Brock Martin
  • Senate District 1: J. Adam Lowe
  • Senate District 27: Jack Johnson
  • Senate District 33: London Lamar

“Tonight’s results illustrate that voters across this state want effective education for all students,” said Adam Lister, President and CEO of Tennesseans for Student Success.  “Candidates won these primaries because they communicated to voters their belief that Tennessee public school students deserve better outcomes and that accountability supports success. Each candidate embraced an effort to defend and expand quality education options for students, parents, and caregivers. Coming off of a historic 112th Assembly that secured a student-focused overhaul of the funding formula, teacher raises, student supports, and targeted interventions to improve literacy, the Tennessee General Assembly that convenes next year will be even more focused on improving public education and ensuring every student has the best opportunity to succeed.”

In addition to the victorious candidate positions on education reform, this class of new faces will bring experiences that will prove invaluable in helping our students reach new heights. Elaine Davis was called into public service while learning to advocate for her son’s medical accommodations at school. William Slater is a former school headmaster and current collegiate dean. Jody Barrett is a former legal representative for a local school board and a father to homeschoolers. Adam Lowe is a collegiate instructional mentor.

Notably, Sen. Jack Johnson, the lead sponsor of the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement Act (TISA), won as well as his colleague, Sen. London Lamar, who supported TISA and its measures to put students first and increase funding and resources for education. Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, who voted against TISA, was defeated by challenger Michael Hale.

Tennesseans for Student Success is a statewide network of parents and caregivers, teachers, community leaders, volunteers, and advocates dedicated to championing and supporting Tennessee’s students and their futures.

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