Sen. Mae Beavers ensured Rep. Susan Lynn will be taking a hiatus from life as a politician for a while, beating her by 2,000 votes in the primary season’s most acrimonious grudge match Thursday.
Beavers carried 49 percent of votes in the state Senate 17th District showdown. Lynn conceded the race with 42 percent of the vote. Gordon Borck, a third candidate, earned 9 percent.
“You offer yourself to the voters and hopefully they’ll vote for you. A lot of people did and I’m very grateful,” Lynn said during her concession speech Thursday night. “Over 12,000 people voted for me. I don’t know who each and every one of those people are, but I thank them very much.”
She went on to urge her supporters to help re-elect the incumbent Beavers in the general election this fall over Democratic primary winner George McDonald, who defeated Sam Hatcher and Aubrey Givens on Thursday.
Despite sharing more apparent ideological similarities than differences — including a rhetorical disdain for expansive government and a passion for state sovereignty — Beavers and Lynn have also long shared disdain for one another.
Their frigid relations devolved into a heated fracas when Beavers announced during the legislative session last winter that she’d changed her mind about running for Wilson County Mayor, and had decided instead to seek reelection to the Senate seat she’s held for eight years. Lynn had already committed to running for Beavers’ old seat.
After Beavers’ announcement, Lynn acknowledged she wouldn’t have tried making the jump from the House to the Senate this year had she known Beavers would be in the race. But Lynn said she didn’t want to renege on her own decision to vacate the District 57 House seat.
Beavers told TNReport Thursday that her decision to run again, after publicly indicating intentions otherwise, “was something I really prayed about.”
“I did not run for personal reasons,” said Beavers. “I ran based on my record, and my service to the people of the 17th District and people begging me to run again.”
“It’s unfortunate that the news media has taken a situation and blown it up like they have,” said Beavers.
The 17th District Senate seat includes Cannon, Clay, DeKalb, Macon, Smith and part of Sumner, Trousdale and Wilson Counties.