The 112th General Assembly will convene at noon on January 12, 2021.
In the Tennessee State Senate, Democrats gained a seat for the first time in 16 years when incumbent Republican Senator Steve Dickerson lost to Democrat Heidi Campbell in Senate District 20 (Davidson County). Campbell is a former mayor of the City of Oak Hill, one of Metro Davidson County’s satellite cities. Former Representative Page Walley won the vacant seat in West Tennessee created by the retirement of Senate Education Chairman Dolores Gresham, which was expected after he won the Republican primary in August. The Senate’s balance of power is now 27 Republicans and 6 Democrats.
Senate District 20 • Heidi Campbell (D-Oak Hill) Heidi Campbell has served as the mayor of Oak Hill in Davidson County for six years. Campbell is a former music industry executive and holds an MBA from Vanderbilt. Her and her husband have two children together. She narrowly won against incumbent Sen. Steven Dickerson, the last remaining Republican member of the Davidson County delegation. Senate District 26 • Page Walley (R— Bolivar) Page Walley currently serves as the vice-mayor of Bolivar, and previously served in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1990 to 2000. Walley is a licensed clinical psychologist and was formerly a Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services under Gov. Don Sundquist and held a similar post in the state of Alabama. He received his bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and his doctorate in psychology from the University of Georgia. Walley is filling the seat vacated by outgoing Chair of the Senate Education Committee, Sen. Dolores Gresham. State House of Representatives
While the Tennessee State House will welcome several new members due to retirements and primary upsets, the balance of power remains unchanged with 73 Republicans and 26 Democrats. The only incumbent to lose on election night was John DeBerry of Memphis, who held the seat as a Democrat for 24 years but was forced to run as an Independent this year after being removed from the Democratic primary by the State Executive Committee over his penchant for voting with Republicans on hot-button issues like abortion and school vouchers. DeBerry lost overwhelmingly to the Democratic nominee, Torrey Harris. Republican Eddie Mannis, who won the seat of retiring Knoxville Representative Martin Daniel.
House District 3 • Scotty Campbell (R— Mountain City) Scotty Campbell is a graduate of Vol State Community College and Cumberland University. He previously served in the Tennessee House of Representatives during the 107th General Assembly and was a legislative staff member during the 105th and 106th General Assemblies. Campbell was a 911 police/fire/EMS dispatcher and worked at the local radio station as the morning news host. Campbell is filling the seat previously held by Rep. Timothy Hill, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress. House District 6 • Tim Hicks (R— Gray) Tim Hicks serves on the serves on the Washington County Planning Commission and is the CEO of Hicks Construction, a custom home building business. His wife, Keri, helps run Hicks Construction. Hicks is also a mentor for a faith-based addiction recovery program following his past battles with drugs and alcohol. His father, Bobby, served two terms in the state House in the mid-1990s. Hicks defeated incumbent Rep. Micah Van Huss in the Republican primary election. House District 7 • Rebecca Keefauver Alexander (R— Jonesborough) Rebecca Keefauver Alexander is the owner of Dillow-Taylor Funeral Home. As a graduate of East Tennessee State University’s master’s in storytelling program, she is also a professional storyteller and motivational speaker. Alexander has expressed wanting to support farmers and the agriculture industry since she comes from six generations of Washington County dairy farmers. She and her husband, Howie, have two daughters together, Whitley and Madison. Alexander defeated incumbent Rep. Matthew Hill in the Republican primary election. House District 15 • Sam McKenzie (D-Knoxville) Sam McKenzie is the new House member to represent the district that includes the UT Knoxville campus. After earning a bachelor’s degree at Fisk University and a master’s degree in solid state physics at the University of Memphis, McKenzie spent over 30 years working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). He also served on the Knox County Commission for over eight years. McKenzie defeated incumbent Rep. Rick Staples in the heavily contested Democratic primary and beat Independent Troy Jones in the general election. House District 16 • Michele Carringer (R-Knoxville) Michele Carringer is a life-long resident of Knoxville and recently completed four years of service as a Knox County Commissioner. Carringer attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in the College of Communications, where she met her husband, Dr. Michael Carringer. She is active in the Knoxville community, serving on numerous non-profit boards and commissions. Carringer has also served in various leadership roles for both the Knox County Republican Party and regional Republican clubs. Carringer is filling the seat previously held by Rep. Bill Dunn, who retired after 26 years in office. House District 18 • Eddie Mannis (R-Knoxville) Eddie Mannis is a graduate of Maryville College and the founder and CEO of Prestige Cleaners. He is also the founder of Honor Air Knoxville, which sponsors local veterans to visit war memorials in Washington, D.C. Mannis has served on several boards, such as the McGhee Tyson Airport, Visit Knoxville, and Zoo Knoxville’s boards, and was chair of the University of Tennessee Chancellor’s Associates. Mannis is filling the seat previously held by Rep. Martin Daniel, who decided not to run for re-election, and defeated Democrat Virginia Couch in the general election. House District 76 • Tandy Darby (R-Greenfield) Tandy Darby is the new House member to represent the district that includes the UT Martin campus. Darby works for Akin and Porter Produce and on the family’s cattle farm, Darby Brothers Farm. He also served on the Weakley County Chamber Board. Darby is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin, obtaining his bachelor’s degree in agricultural business. His wife, Kasi, is a financial advisor and they have three daughters together. His oldest, Tess, is a student at UT Knoxville and a Lady Vol basketball player. Darby is succeeding Rep. Andy Holt, who decided not to run for re-election. House District 90 • Torrey Harris (D-Memphis) Torrey Harris received his bachelor’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology from Christian Brothers University. He works in human resources management for Shelby County Government and is active in his community, serving in organizations like the Memphis Urban League. He convincingly defeated 26-year incumbent Rep. John DeBerry, who was forced to run as an independent after the Tennessee Democratic Party executive committee voted to remove him as a Democrat from the ballot. House District 92 • Todd Warner (R-Chapel Hill) Todd Warner is a businessman and a row crop farmer of corn and soybeans in Marshall County. He has served on the Marshall County School Board and as an Alderman in Chapel Hill. As an active member of Farm Bureau and the Tennessee Cattleman’s Association, Warner has expressed support for farmers and the agriculture industry. He and his wife Cindy have three children. He defeated incumbent Rep. Rick Tillis in the primary election. House District 97 • John Gillespie (R-Memphis) John Gillespie works as a grant coordinator at Trezevant Episcopal Home and is a graduate of High Point University in North Carolina. He previously worked at First Horizon as a financial service representative and later moved to the mortgage division at Evolve Bank and Trust. Gillespie also has a background in political campaigning, having served as the assistant campaign manager for former Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell’s campaign. Gillespie narrowly defeated Gabby Salinas in the primary election to replace the seat of Rep. Jim Coley, who decided not to run for re-election.