Thursday, August 13, 2015

Zachary wins state for House seat

Carson, left, Zachary, right
Republican Jason Zachary defeated fellow Republican Karen Carson on Wednesday to effectively claim the 14th District Tennessee House seat, according to unofficial results from the Knox County Election Commission.

Zachary, a businessman, and Carson, a Knox County school board member, competed in the GOP primary, but no Democrat is running for the seat so Wednesday's results amounted to a winner-take-all race. The general election is Sept. 29.

The final overall return for the West Knox County district: 2,397 for Zachary and 1,742 for Carson. That worked out to be 58 percent for Zachary and 42 percent for Carson.

The total includes early and absentee votes, where returns showed 1,544 votes cast for Zachary and 1,061 for Carson, according to unofficial results.

Zachary took the majority of votes cast in the district's seven precincts Wednesday.

For example, Zachary surpassed Carson in precincts the covered the Concord and Farragut areas. Carson outdrew him in precincts that included the Rocky Hill and A.L. Lotts areas, figures showed.

Republican state Rep. Ryan Haynes resigned the 14th District seat in the spring to become state GOP chairman.

With some 39,100 eligible voters in the district, the turnout represented just a fraction of those who could vote.

During the race, the candidates clearly differentiated themselves on the question of funding for Insure Tennessee, Gov. Haslam's proposal to fill a gap in health care coverage among lower income groups. Carson, a pediatric nurse, supported it. Zachary bluntly opposed pursuing such a proposal.

Last year, Zachary ran a spirited race in defeat against longtime U.S. Rep. John J. Duncan Jr.

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