|Rogers defeats Maggart|
|Thursday, August 2, 2012|
By quite a large margin, State Representative Debra Maggart lost her bid to retain the 45th District House seat to challenger Lt. Col. Courtney Rogers in yesterday’s election.
With 100 percent of the 36 precincts reporting, Rogers unofficially had 3,392 votes (58.22 percent) to 2,421 votes (41.56 percent) for Maggart. Vote totals do not include early and write-in votes.
Maggart, the Republican Caucus leader, had been targeted for defeat by the National Rifle Association who reportedly poured $75,000 or more into Rogers’ campaign. At issue was a gun bill that was shelved for summer study in the last legislative session.
“Serving Sumner County in the Tennessee House of Representatives for the past eight years has been a true honor,” Maggart said in an email after she conceded the election. “I am proud to have been the first female Majority House Caucus Chair.
“I would like to thank Gov. Haslam, Lt. Gov. Ramsey, Speaker Harwell, and all my friends at the General Assembly. I am so proud of the work we have accomplished together… We truly have a lot to be proud of.I am equally proud of the supporters that rallied around this campaign and I am blessed to have such dear friends.
“I congratulate Courtney Rogers and wish her the best of luck.”
In a post-election interview, Rogers said, “From the beginning this race hasn’t been about tearing somebody down or who can collect the most money, It’s all been about meeting the people of District 45. We’ve been walking and knocking on doors since April. The NRA didn’t hurt in getting me some name recognition and I had some incredible volunteers. My family has been awesome.”
When asked how the financial support of the NRA changed the race, Rogers said, “I think it helped get a little more level playing field. I couldn’t compete with the corporate donations. Most people don’t understand that they didn’t give me $75,000 to manage. Most of it was for the NRA’s communications.
Maggart had successfully defended her seat against Democratic challengers in previous elections but never faced a Republican challenger since winning the Republican nomination in 2004.
Jeanette Jackson of Hendersonville ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and will face Rogers in the November election.
State House District 44
In the new State House seat for District 40 which now includes the eastern portion of Sumner County, incumbent Terri Lynn Weaver of Smith County was running unopposed for the Republican nomination. A gospel singer by trade, Weaver received 4,333 complimentary votes, according to the Tennessee Secretary of State website.
She will face a challenge in November from another Smith County lady, Sarah Marie Smith who defeated Gallatin’s Wesley Hodges for the Democratic nod. Smith captured 1910 votes compared to only 446 for Hodges.
State House District 44
William G. Lamberth of Cottontown was unchallenged in the Republican Primary for the open seat and received 2,810 votes. He faces a Democratic opponent in November with Steven Glaser of Portland who was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Glaser received 463 votes. The two are running for the seat that has been held by Rep. Mike McDonald (D) for the past 18 years. McDonald did not seek re-election to that position.
All vote tallies are unofficial and obtained from the Tennessee Secretary of State website.