Area Democrats to host congressional debate tonight

From Staff Reports • May 7, 2020 at 9:00 AM

Democratic parties in Northeast Tennessee are hosting an electronic debate tonight among Democratic candidates running for the 1st District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The debate will begin at  7 p.m., and will be live-streamed on the TN First Congressional District Democrats Facebook page (@TNCongressionalD1). Organizers say there will be other debates held in June and July before the Aug. 6 primary election.

The three candidates who have qualified to appear on the Democratic Primary ballot in August, as well as one write-in candidate, will be participating in tonight’s debate. They are: Chris Rowe, Elizabethton; Larry J. Smith, Greeneville;  Blair Walsingham, Eidson; and Anthony Rock, who is running a write-in campaign.

Sixteen Republicans have qualified to appear on the GOP ballot. The Republican field includes state Sen. Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City; state Rep. David Hawk, R-Greeneville; and state Rep. Timothy Hill, R-Bluff City.

Former Kingsport Mayor John Clark, former Johnson City Mayor Steve Darden and Washington County Board of Education member Chad Fleenor have also qualified in the GOP primary.

Independent candidate Steve Holder, Johnson City, will join the winners of the Republican and Democratic primaries on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

Early voting for the August primaries begin July 17. The deadline to register to vote in the election is July 7.

Tennessee’s 1st District seat covers all of Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties and parts of Jefferson and Sevier counties.