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Justin Jones and Justin Pearson Win Special Primary Elections After Expulsion

​Justin Jones and Justin Pearson

The two Tennessee lawmakers expelled from their seats in have each won their special elections — and it wasn't even close.

The two Tennessee lawmakers who were expelled from their seats in April for participating in a gun control rally have each won their special elections — and it wasn't even close.

State Rep. Justin Jones ran unopposed for his seat in a Nashville district. Justin Pearson faced David Page for his seat in the Memphis area, emerging victorious with an overwhelming 94 percent of the vote.

“The first wave of votes are in and WE WON!!!” Pearson tweeted. “We are now officially the Democratic candidate for the General Election in District 86!! #PeoplePower did this!! Let’s keep going!!!”

Jones and Pearson were both expelled from the Tennessee House of Representatives in April after joining protestors at the capital who rallied shortly after a shooting at an elementary school in Nashville. The Republican-controlled legislature voted to expel Jones and Pearson, two Black men, sparing the third representative who participated, Gloria Johnson, a White woman.

Both Jones and Pearson were reappointed to their seats shortly after by their local election boards as interim representatives, awaiting special elections, held Thursday of this week. As they cannot be expelled twice for the same offense, both will remain in their seats until the special general election.

Scheduled for early August, Pearson will go up against Independent Jeff Johnston, whereas Jones will face Republican Laura Nelson, who also ran unopposed in the Republican special primary. As Jones reported on his Twitter, while both he and Nelson received 100 percent of their party's vote, Jones had over 1,500 ballots cast in his favor, compared to just under 250 for Nelson.

"District 52!!! THANK YOU to everyone who took time to vote today for sending a clear message to Speaker Cameron Sexton and his extremist Republican supermajority that attacks on democracy will not go unchallenged," he wrote. "Next up: Special General Election on Aug 3rd. Let’s goooo!!"

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