While the state Senate flirted with the idea of giving itself authority to pick nominees for U.S. Senate, the House has dumped the plan. A bill that would end primary elections made it to the floor of the state senate this week. But it was scuttled by the House before it even came to a committee vote.
Governor Bill Haslam has said it “doesn’t feel right” to take away the choice of voters, even threatening a veto.
Tennessee’s two sitting senators stayed out of the issue publicly, although Republican Bob Corker praised the current primary process.
“I will say, those efforts make you a better candidate," Corker said.
Several Republican states have taken shots at direct elections this year in an attempt to ultimately send more conservative senators to Washington. Georgia tried repealing the 17th Amendment, which established the popular election of U.S. senators a hundred years ago.