Dickerson defeats North as GOP rolls to historic state Senate status

Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 2:01am

Steve Dickerson declared an early victory Tuesday night in Senate District 20 and led the way to a historic majority for Republicans in the upper house of the state legislature.

Republicans won 15 out of 16 state Senate contests, picking up six seats for a total of 26 to the Democrats’ seven. The two-thirds “supermajority” will allow them to pass legislation at will, rendering Democrats effectively irrelevant. The only Senate race Republicans did not win Tuesday night was the one in which they didn’t run — District 30, where Senate Minority Leader Jim Kyle, who made a deal with Republicans during redistricting in order to avoid facing Republican opposition, ran unopposed.

Dickerson’s victory was significant as a symbolic victory as well. The district, which was represented by Democratic Sen. Joe Haynes for 28 years before it was dramatically redrawn by Republicans during last year’s redistricting. For reeling Democrats, yielding a Senate seat in Davidson County, one of their few remaining strongholds, will sting. For Dickerson, who ran in 2010 against longtime Democratic Sen. Douglas Henry, Tuesday’s victory was the culmination of a two-cycle plan that ultimately proved successful.

“There is no question that over the last eleven months we have worked tirelessly to deliver our message to the voters of the 20th District.” Dickerson said just over an hour after the polls closed in Tennessee. “Tonight will be a night of celebration for myself, my staff, and our tremendous base of volunteers that have continued to work day in and day out to ensure that we came out victorious; so that Davidson County could have a strong, sensible voice in the State Senate.”

The North campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, who ran unopposed to re-election in Senate District 4, trumpeted the TNGOP’s “historic gains” in a statement released Tuesday night. The so-called “supermajority” is the first for Republicans in the Senate since reconstruction. With Republicans also achieving a two-thirds majority in the state House, next year will mark the first time either party has held a supermajority in both houses in 35 years.

Republican victories were also accented by the margins with which they achieved them. Of the 15 Senate races they won Tuesday, none came within five points.

“After decades of Democrat Party rule in Tennessee, Republicans have won the war of ideas across this state’s Grand Divisions and changed the political culture,” said Ramsey. “The Tennessee Democrat Party has abandoned any pretense of supporting traditional values or conservative fiscal policy. As Democrat leaders have lined up with the pro-abortion, tax and spend liberals in Washington, D.C., their voters have responded to our message of lower taxes, balance budgets and economic growth.”

Ramsey continued, “The historical majorities we achieved tonight are a culmination of years of hard work and responsible governance. Republicans have many successes under our belt but there is still much left to do.”

15 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 11/7/12 at 5:17

Well, I'm sure our Supreme Court Judge, Mrs. Clark, is disappointed as the Judicial
donations list showing her making, I think, 3 separate donations to Mr. North.
So close, but a few votes shy of two other Davidson County Senate victories.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/7/12 at 5:35

At least my native state has some dignity. I never met a Republican who did not have dignity.

By: Jughead on 11/7/12 at 8:13

Thank God for Tennessee. And, I am from California and never want to return there.

By: Rocket99 on 11/7/12 at 8:35

Me thinks Rasputin hasn't met very many Republicans.

What about the Teapublicans? How did they fare on the races? Those are the ones who really need to be gone.

By: PKVol on 11/7/12 at 8:51

Just a reminder to the Republicans at the Capitol. Absolute Power corrupts, Absolutely. Be humble with your majority, don't alienate your electorate and remain faithful to your true cause(s). The people voted you in and the people can vote you out.

By: Radix on 11/7/12 at 9:05

PKVol is right on. With this power comes great responsibility. We will be watching you. Great news after an otherwise dismal night. TN-GOP time to show how compassionate and fair conservatism can work to make a great place to live. When people living in blue states have killed the golden goose, their companies and prosperity will come here in droves. That means, better jobs, more prosperity and the tax revenues to do great things for people.

By: global_citizen on 11/7/12 at 10:09

I wonder if Ron Ramsey ever gets tired of hearing his own claptrap. I see few politicians who parrot brainless Republican talking points better than him.

Even among Democrats in Tennessee, I don't believe any are "tax and spend liberals", but hey, it sounds good to those who live sheltered in their own little Republican echo chamber and lap up drivel like that.

By: yucchhii on 11/7/12 at 10:23

So what, I mispelled criminal once! Oh yeah, if you don't like what I had to say, blame the vets for giving me that right to express myself.....but you really shouldn't because that right won't last too much longer...you better get your freedom of expression in before the CRIMINALS abolish that right. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!! The ALARM IS SOUNDING...HELLOOOO!!!!

By: govskeptic on 11/7/12 at 10:33

yucchhii: I may be wrong, but I think there's are rules against posting crazy talk after
smoking too much wacky stuff.

By: Left-of-Local on 11/7/12 at 1:01

Give the hillbillies a little while with their majority. They'll screw up enough to turn this state blue for 50 years. You watch.

By: BigPapa on 11/8/12 at 7:50

My message to the GOP in TN is this:


You guys are not like the dog that finally catches that garbage truck he's been chasing all those years... "now what do I do with it?"

By: BigPapa on 11/8/12 at 7:51


By: jonw on 11/8/12 at 1:32

By looking over the Tenneassee legislative numbers, it appears that a majority of voters disagree with you. You may now drive off in your garbage truck.

By: Rocket99 on 11/9/12 at 8:21

Always find it interesting how one party claims the other is the tax and spend party where hostory shows it the other way around.

The Repuiblican party in its current form is NOT a party for the people. It's a party for the corporations, wackos and right wingnut Christians. If you think that as an indovodual they really care what you think, you are wrong.

I really hope the TeaPublicans do a full on attack on their party. Would be very interesting.

By: jonw on 11/9/12 at 9:55

Since I don't know what an "indovodual" is, I don't suppose I am one.