NewsDemocratic Reps. Justin Pearson & Justin Jones Seek Reinstatement

Democratic Reps. Justin Pearson & Justin Jones Seek Reinstatement

Rep. Justin Pearson, Rep. Justin Jones, and Rep. Gloria Johnson leave the Tennessee State Capitol after a vote at the Tennessee House of Representatives to expel two Democratic members for their roles in a gun control demonstration at the statehouse last week, in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., April 6, 2023. REUTERS/Cheney Orr

Democratic Reps. Justin Pearson and Justin Jones made national headlines when they demanded gun reform in March of this year during a heated protest on the House floor. They were both expelled from the Tennessee Republican-led House, a decision that drew ire from President Joe Biden, former President Barack Obama, and citizens across the country.

Now, Pearson and Jones must rely on votes from two districts in a special election to determine whether they’ll have a full reinstatement.
According to The Guardian, Jones faces off against Republican candidate Laura Nelson for a seat representing District 52. In contrast, Pearson will run opposite independent candidate Jeff Johnston for the opportunity to represent District 86, which also covers part of Memphis. Having already won their primary elections, Jones and Pearson feel strongly that their chances are positive of returning to the House; however, they allege that Republicans of sending out “negative mailers” to voters in their districts.

Both men have received substantial fiscal support for their campaigns, with Forbes reporting that over $2 million was raised to help ensure reelection, which easily trumps their opponents’ financial aid.
Still, Jones and Pearson face House Republicans who boldly claim that their “disrespectful and deliberate efforts to disrupt the business of the House” leave little recourse to being able to move forward peacefully. Though the men were reinstated to their seats by Nashville’s Metropolitan Council and the Shelby County Board of Commission in April, the upcoming election will determine if they can finish their terms before serving their expulsion. Support for “the Justins” has remained steadfast, and they’ve both called upon their newfound fans to help them spread the word about the elections. “Let’s send a clear message to everyone who thought they could silence the voice of District 86,” Pearson tweeted. “You can’t expel a movement!”

Source: Black Enterprise


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