Expelled Tennessee lawmakers both seeking seats again

April 9, 2023  -NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Two former Black Democratic lawmakers who were expelled by Republican colleagues in Tennessee say they want to be reappointed, then elected back to their seats, following their ouster for a protest on the House floor urging passage of gun-control measures in the wake of a deadly school shooting.

Nashville’s metro council is likely to reappoint Justin Jones to the seat during a specially called Monday meeting. The Shelby County Commission plans to announce soon when it will meet to fill the vacancy left by Justin Pearson’s expulsion. Likewise, commissioners can reinstall Pearson, who is from Memphis.

Both former lawmakers told NBC’s Meet the Press that they want to return to their positions as lawmakers. Special elections for the seats, which have yet to be set, will follow in the coming months.

The expulsions have made Tennessee a new front in the battle for the future of American democracy. The former lawmakers have quickly drawn prominent supporters. President Joe Biden spoke with them and Vice President Kamala Harris visited them in Nashville.

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