Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey says that come Election Day, Republicans will enjoy a supermajority in the Tennessee Senate — meaning that the GOP will not need any Democratic support to pass legislation.
“I do think we’re going to have the supermajority,” Ramsey told TNReport. “There are six seats we’re playing in, and none of us as incumbent Republicans have serious opposition. This is the first time I’ve ever run without an opponent.”
Republicans need to win two more seats to snag the supermajority, or 22 of the 33 seats.
And if money talks, Ramsey may be right. GOP candidates for state Senate have a massive financial lead going into the final days of their campaigns, according to campaign finance reports released by the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance.
The reports released this week show Republican Senate candidates with a more than 2-to-1 lead in terms of cash on hand. And when you add up the total amount of money raised in contested races, Republicans have outraised Democrats $1.8 million to $861,000 since Jan. 1, records show.
Perhaps more telling is the amount of money spent in the past two months, which is what the most recent campaign finance reports show.
Of the six key races that Ramsey spoke of, Republicans have spent $384,041 and Democrats have spent $253,451, according to those filings.
That’s money that goes for newspaper and radio ads, campaign workers, mailings, food and gas to fill up the gas tank.
In only one of those races did the Democrat outspend his opponent. That was the race in Senate District 24, a West Tennessee district that spans from Obion County to Benton County.
Most of the six races, though, more closely resemble the contest in Senate District 20, a district that surrounds downtown Nashville like a letter “C” spanning from Belle Meade to Goodlettsville. Republican Steve Dickerson plowed $54,941 into the race over the past two months. His opponent, Democrat Phillip North, spent $28,028 over that same period.
“I do think there will be significant gains,” Ramsey said. “Somewhere between two (Senate seats) to five or six.”
Other Senate seats identified as being in play include: