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NewsTracker Transparency and Elections

GOP Advance in State House Races

As results from across the state come in, the GOP appears to be poised for a 63-35-1 majority in the state House, Post Politics says.

One of those GOP seats will be held by Metro Councilman Jim Gotto, of Hermitage, who defeated fellow Councilman Sam Coleman, of Antioch. Gotto won in the 60th District, which opened up after Ben West announced his retirement.

Another goes to Republican Linda Elam, who won the 57th District seat vacated by Rep. Susan Lynn. GOP candidate Sheila Butt will serve in the lower house as well, after ousting incumbent Democratic Rep. Ty Cobb in the 64th District.

See Post Politics’ look at the state Senate makeup here. More race tallies here.

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Press Releases

West Wants Coleman to Fill His State House Seat

Press Release from state Rep. Ben West, Jr., D-Hermitage; Aug. 26, 2010:

All Four Former District 60 Candidates Join West in Endorsement

(Nashville) — State Representative Ben West, Jr. (D-Hermitage), who is retiring after serving the 60th House district for 26 years, endorsed Metro Councilman Sam Coleman Thursday as his replacement in the upcoming November election.

West was joined in the endorsement by Coleman’s four former opponents from the August Democratic Primary: Larry Crim, Tommy Bradley, Charles Hager and Chris Tobe.

“I am casting my total support behind Sam, because he understands the needs of Hermitage, Donelson and Antioch,” West said. “I plan to work tirelessly to ensure that his transition into the state house is a smooth one. I know that he will continue to serve the district in a fine manner.”

Sam Coleman is an attorney, graduate of the Nashville School of Law, graduate of Tennessee State University and has served Nashville on the Metro Council for seven years. He formerly served the state of Tennessee in the Department of Correction for over 32 years.

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Press Releases

Chairman Turner Releases Statement on Retirement of Rep. West, Jr.

Press Release from the House Democratic Caucus, Feb. 19, 2010:

NASHVILLE (FEB. 19) – “Today’s announcement allows us the opportunity to reflect on the career of service and accomplishments of my friend, Ben West. I know my friend is doing what he believes is the right thing to do for his family and his future. Ben West, Jr. has served this legislature with honor and respect these past 26 years, but also with a sense of brevity and humility.

Ben and I have talked often in the months since his surgery about the importance of family and making sure we make the most of the time we have on this planet. For over a quarter of a century Ben has given his life to the service of the people of the 60th District and state of Tennessee. He has been a part of a number of state reforms, helped balance budgets year after year, worked with Democrats and Republicans on countless bipartisan efforts, and served as a leader on the issues that matter most.

While I selfishly would like my friend to continue his work as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, I know in his heart he is making the right choice. I’m confident that the people of the 60th will elect a new representative who will have the same dedication and commitment to the Democratic values that Ben West, Jr. has shown for nearly three decades.

I, along with all the Caucus, wish our friend the best in his retirement and look forward to enjoying these last months with him as a member of the 106th General Assembly.”