Tennessee Dems Want No Part of Ending US Senate Primaries

The Tennessee General Assembly has delayed consideration of ending primary elections for the U.S. Senate. Several lawmakers say voters need time to weigh-in on possibly losing their power to pick party nominees.

A few top-ranking Republicans have gotten on board with Frank Niceley’s proposal for the state legislature to again pick Senate candidates. Niceley said Tennessee should lead what he calls a band of “small red states” to help send more conservative lawmakers to Washington and “save America.”

But Niceley faces stiff opposition from within his own party. Brian Kelsey is a lawyer from Germantown.

“This bill smells of elitism, of cronyism, and it would open up a system that was – and could be in the future – rife with corruption,” Kelsey said.

State legislatures had the job of choosing U.S. Senators until the adoption of the 17th Amendment exactly 100 years ago. It established the direct election of senators by popular vote.

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