New lawmakers seated for 2018 legislative session

Two new faces will be joining the state Senate and three in the state House in the Tennessee General Assembly for its 2018 session.

Republican Mark Pody has won the special election for the Senate District 17 seat vacated by former Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, so she can focus on her run for governor.  Pody left his own seat as the state representative for District 46 to run for Beavers’ vacated seat. Both Pody and Beavers reside in Wilson County. He beat opponent Mary Alice Carfi by 308 votes in the special election. 

The Wilson County Commission appointed Lebanon insurance agent Clark Boyd to fill the seat Pody vacated. Boyd  is a former chairman of the Wilson County Republican Party and previously ran against Mae Beavers for the District 17 Senate seat in 2014. 

State Rep. Art Swann, R-Maryville, was recently sworn in to represent Senate District 8 following the resignation of Doug Overbey, R-Maryville, when he was selected as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Swann was elected to the State House in 2010 and had previously served as a Blount County commissioner from 19778 to 1982.

Jerome Moon, former Blount County Commission chairman, was then appointed and sworn in to represent the House District 2 seat vacated by Swann. 

Both were chosen to fill the vacancies by the Blount County Commission. Swann was selected after a 14-3 vote while Moon  received 16 of the 19 votes cast for  Swann’s replacement. Swann and Moon will serve until a new candidate is elected in the Nov. 6 general election with a primary to be held on Aug. 2.  

Kevin Vaughan will represent the residents of Tennessee House District 95, receiving 62 percent of the votes in the special election to replace Republican Mark Lovell, who resigned from the legislature in February 2017.  A special election is being held on March 13 to replace former Sen. Jim Tracy, who was recently appointed as the head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Office for the state of Tennessee.

Candidates running for Tracy’s seat include former state Rep. Joe Carr, Murfreesboro businessman Shane Reeves, and lawyer Gayle Jordan.  Sen. Mark Norris, R-Collierville, has also been nominated to serve as a U.S. attorney and will have to resign if the Senate confirms him to the position Like with Overbey’s spot, the Shelby County Commission could chose to appoint a replacement to Norris’ seat until the general election following a lawmaker’s resignation.