published Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

After pulling papers to challenge House speaker, Democrat Bob Tuke leans against bid

  • photo
    Former Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Bob Tuke speaks at a Times Free Press in this file photo.
    Staff File Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press

NASHVILLE — Former Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Bob Tuke this week pulled papers to challenge Republican House Speaker Beth Harwell in her state House District 56 seat this fall.

But Tuke said late Wednesday afternoon that after additional thought, he will “almost certainly not” run against Harwell.

The filing deadline for candidates is noon Thursday.

Tuke said he got papers to run for the seat from the Davidson County Election Commission on Tuesday “because time was running out, and I was seriously contemplating it.”

The former party chairman said, “I like Beth personally ... but I’ve been so really disgusted with the way this Republican General Assembly has behaved this term.”

But after thinking it over further, he said, “right now my decision is not to do it.”

Harwell’s district includes a number of liberal-leaning neighborhoods and her voting on gun issues sometimes reflects that, sometimes putting her at odds with tea party conservatives.

about Andy Sher...

Andy Sher is a Nashville-based staff writer covering Tennessee state government and politics for the Times Free Press. A Washington correspondent from 1999-2005 for the Times Free Press, Andy previously headed up state Capitol coverage for The Chattanooga Times, worked as a state Capitol reporter for The Nashville Banner and was a contributor to The Tennessee Journal, among other publications. Andy worked for 17 years at The Chattanooga Times covering police, health care, county government, ...

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