The Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee will hear two election challenges from Hamilton County, including one for the county mayor race, by Zoom on Friday night.
Sabrena Smedley is challenging the county mayor contest on grounds of many cross-over votes by Democrats that she said helped Weston Wamp win.
The Hamilton County Election Commission has certified Mr.
Wamp as the winner.
Cindy Fain has also challenged the District 6 School Board race, citing "illegal Democratic crossover voters."
Scott Golden, state party chairman, said:
The Tennessee Republican Party is now sending to you the procedures and process for the disposition of this primary election contest under Tenn. Code Ann. § 2-17-104 (Contest of Primary Elections). To the extent that you have any objections to these procedures, you must express those in writing within 24 hours of my sending of this correspondence. However, the TRP believes the procedures set forth herein are just and fair.
1. It will be noted this is not a legal process. It is a political process to the standards of 2-17-104, which require the State Primary Board to render a decision "which justice and fairness require."
See Kurita v. State Primary Bd. of Tennessee Democratic Party, No. 3:08-0948, 2008 WL 4601574, at *4 (M.D. Tenn. Oct. 14, 2008), aff'd, 472 F. App'x 398 (6th Cir. 2012).
2. Neither the contester, nor the contested are required to have legal counsel; but can choose to have legal representation.
3. The disposition of the contest will be open to the public under State Sunshine laws where the press/media will be invited to attend.
4. The Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee will serve as the State Primary Board for the purpose of TCA 2-17-104. The TNGOP Bylaws lays out the rules and procedure under Rule J.
5. A zoom link will be provided and will be available
6. Order of Events:
1. Challenger will have up to 5 minutes to present to the State Primary Board.
2. Challenged will have up to 5 minutes to present a response to the State Primary Board.
3. SEC members, acting as the State Primary Board, will have 10 minutes to ask questions of
candidate/counsel and discussion
4. The SEC members, acting as the State Primary Board, will vote.
Contests of a Republican Primary Election
This Rule J is adopted pursuant to TCA § 2-17-104, as it may be amended from time to time. This Rule is intended to govern the procedure the State Primary Board to hear and determine a primary election contest and make the disposition of the contest which justice and fairness require, including setting aside the election if necessary.
Section 1. Upon satisfaction of TCA § 2-17-104 (b) a contest shall deem to exist. The State Chairman, who also serves as the Chair of the State Primary Board, shall review the contest and determine if grounds for a contest exist. He shall consult with the legal counsel of the TRP in making this determination. The State Chairman has the authority to dismiss the contest should he determine grounds for a contest do not exist.
Section 2. Should grounds for a contest exist; the State Chairman shall notify the contester, the adversely affected candidates, and the entirety of the State Primary Board of the contest and the grounds for which it exists. In this notification he shall also establish what options are available to the State Primary Board to make the disposition of the contest which justice and fairness require.
Section 3. A date, time, and venue shall be established for the State Primary Board to hear arguments from the contester and the adversely affected candidates. This date shall occur before a deadline set by the State Elections Coordinator for the replacement of a nominee after the primary election. Notification of the meeting shall be done in accordance with the Sunshine Laws of Tennessee as required under TCA for meetings of the State Primary Board.
Section 4. The State Primary Board hereby grants the State Chairman the authority to set the agenda, rules, and order for the hearing of arguments from the contester and adversely affected candidates. It shall not be necessary to follow the rules of evidence or other procedures followed in courts of law or equity. The candidates involved shall be allowed to retain legal counsel and said legal counsel shall be allowed to speak on behalf of the candidates.
Section 5. The most recent edition of Robert’s Rules of Order shall govern debate of the State Primary Board after arguments have been heard.
Section 6. Any resolution to the contest, including dismissal of the contest or overturning the election, must pass with a majority vote of the State Primary Board present and voting. Proxies shall not be permitted. All decisions shall be final with no option for appeal available. Certification of the primary election and the Republican nominee shall be done immediately following the meeting of the State Primary Board.
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