The Tennessee Conservative [By Kelly M. Jackson] –
Newly elected lawmaker to the Tennessee House of Representatives Bryan Richey (R-Maryville-District 20) has filed new bills and a House Joint Resolution to tackle the key issues of term limits for local officials and official party registration to help secure primary elections in Tennessee.
House Bill 0118 and HJR 0035 as introduced, establishes a referendum process by which the electorate of a local government in this state may vote to establish 16-year term limits for the public officials of the local government- Amends TCA Title 2; Title 4; Title 5; Title 6; Title 7 and Title 8.
If successful, the question of whether an elected or appointed official should have their terms limited to sixteen years, could be placed on the November 2024 ballot.
House Bill 0121 prescribes a process by which a person must declare a statewide political party or recognized minor party affiliation before voting in a primary election- Amends TCA Title 2.
This bill would amend current legislation, closing primary elections to voters who have established their party allegiance, and that information is then added to their voting records. Those voters who do not choose a major or minor party affiliation, will be declared independent, and not allowed to vote in any primary.
When asked about the particular issues he chose to engage for his inaugural session as D20’s Representative, Richey explained:
“During my campaign for office, I personally knocked on more than 5,000 doors. During this time, I listened to the concerns of my district and took notes on what they wanted our state to do….voters said they wanted term limits on everybody, and the number that we came up with during legislative discussions here in the district was 16 years. Closing our primaries was another very important concern in my district.”
Richey continued, “The overall purpose for primaries is for Republican voters to decide on their candidates, and Democrat voters to determine theirs. Independent voters are the traditional swing voters. Several states already have closed or semi-closed primaries, now is the time for Tennessee to accomplish this as well.”
When asked about support for these issues among his Republican House colleagues, Richey indicated that no extensive discussions had yet taken place.
Richey emphasized that once the bills are placed on the calendar, voters need to get in contact with their representatives. “If the voters get involved in sharing their opinions, then and only then, will their wishes be heard. Too many folks across our great state are just not connected on what is taking place up in Nashville. I encourage folks to contact my office and share their thoughts on all of the legislation taking place. This is what makes America and Tennessee so great.”
Should HB0118 and HB0121 emerge from the legislative process successfully, they would take immediate effect upon being signed into law by Governor Lee.
About the Author: Kelly Jackson is a recent escapee from corporate America, and a California refugee to Tennessee. Christ follower, Wife and Mom of three amazing teenagers. She has a BA in Comm from Point Loma Nazarene University, and has a background in law enforcement and human resources. Since the summer of 2020, she has spent any and all free time in the trenches with local grassroots orgs, including Mom’s for Liberty Williamson County and Tennessee Stands as a core member. Outspoken advocate for parents rights, medical freedom, and individual liberty.