Paul Sherrell Running For Reelection: A Look At His Voting Record

Image Credit: State Representative Paul Sherrell / Facebook & Antony-22 / CC

The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –

Representative Paul Sherrell (R-Sparta-District 43) is running for re-election and is on the ballot in the Republican primary slated for August 1st, 2024 where he will face two challengers. Sherrell has been a state representative in the Tennessee General Assembly since 2016.

Having served two terms as a lawmaker already, should Sherrell be given another four years? Read our deep dive on Sherrell’s record and then decide.

Highlights from 2021–2024 include:

Voting Against Medical Freedom.

In 2021, as a member of the House Health Subcommittee, Sherrell voted against a bill, HB0010, protecting religious objections to compulsory vaccination or medical procedures in employment and other situations. The bill would have made a slight change to state law that mandates certain immunizations for children attending K-12 schools and higher education.

Currently, parents have the right to exercise religious exemptions provided there is not an “epidemic or immediate threat thereof.” HB0010 would have allowed individuals in Tennessee to refuse vaccinations for religious reasons or “by right of conscience” even in the midst of a potential pandemic.

Voting for Legislation That Censors Conservatives.

In 2022, Sherrell voted for an “Incumbent Protection” bill that effectively censors conservatives. HB1201 added requirements for 501(c)4, 501(c)5, and 501(c)6 nonprofit organizations to report expenses of more than $5,000 spent on communication that includes images of candidates or their names within 60 days of an election.

The legislation increases paperwork for groups trying to keep the public aware of the voting habits of lawmakers. Many nonprofits don’t have the manpower to deal with increased red tape, effectively silencing them. Before Governor Lee signed the bill into law, opponents urged him to veto it, saying that it was an overreach at the expense of free speech. ALEC Action said that while “well intended” the bill “improperly blurs the lines between election transparency and non-political, non-profit activity.”

Killing a Parental Rights Bill in Subcommittee.

As a member of the House Health Subcommittee, Sherrell did not second a bill strengthening parental rights so that it could be discussed, effectively killing it.

Sponsored by Representative Terri Lynn Weaver, the legislation sought to require Local Education Agencies to permit parents to have access to certain information, including the names of instructors, titles available in the school library, teacher manuals, and curriculum.

The bill would also have required parental consent before participation in any extracurricular activity, family life lesson, field trip, school assembly, or guest speaker event. Certain healthcare practitioners would have been prohibited from providing medical treatment to students without parental consent.

Voting for Corporate Welfare.

Sherrell voted in 2022 to allow the Chattanooga Lookouts – a minor league affiliate of the Chicago Reds – to move to a new stadium in the city and retain a sales tax deal where the team keeps the first 5.5% of the state’s 7% sales tax for sales at the stadium. The legislation also extended the deal to apply to non-baseball events at the stadium.

Killing a Healthcare Rights Bill.

Sherrell failed to second a healthcare rights bill causing it to be killed in subcommittee. HB2486, sponsored by Representative Todd Warner, sought to ensure that patients were allowed visitation by family members and advocates when unable to make their own medical decisions and would have also required informed consent for treatments authorized for emergency use only.

Voting for Legislation That Could Criminalize Parents Based On Anonymous Allegations.

Sherrell voted for a 2023 bill  – HB1109 – that makes it a criminal offense for families to hide children outside of the state when that child is in custody of the Department of Children’s Services. Since DCS is not required to verify the credibility of anonymous sources making accusations of child abuse or neglect, this legislation could possibly make it easier to criminalize parents who have not committed such an offense.

Not only does this legislation allow parents to be charged with a felony for failure to turn their child over to the state, it also looks to relieve DCS of having to properly notify parents about removal orders since it is not a defense that “the person harboring or hiding the child has not been served with an actual copy of a protective custody order or emergency custody order.”

The primary concern that opponents of the bill had seems to do away with basic due process, which gives a person the right to know about accusations made against them and allows them the ability to defend themselves in court.

Voting to Pave the Way for a Global Currency In Tennessee.

The Money Transmission Modernization Act” also received Sherrell’s vote. HB0316 legally redefines what the law currently recognizes as “money” in the state of Tennessee, laying the groundwork for a global currency. This legislation appears to set Tennessee up to allow foreign governmental entities the opportunity to produce, house, and exchange a currency that is not currently recognized by banks owned and operated within the state. 

The Tennessee Legislative Report Card gave Sherrell a voting score of 83 with a C- for leadership for the 2023 legislative session. Of note, the report card which can be seen in full HERE, shows that 64.52% of his campaign contributions were donations from “special interests.”

Some of Sherrell’s less than conservative votes during the 2024 session of the Tennessee General Assembly are as follows:

• Sherrell voted for a bill (HB2922) that creates a new type of congregate setting called an “opportunity school” that may lead to the unnecessary institutionalization of young people with disabilities and other so called “at-risk” youth in a way that may interfere with the rights of parents. Children as young as 11 may be enrolled and sent across the state, far from their families and communities. Governor Bill Lee signed the bill into law on May 28th.

• Sherrell also voted for a bill (HB1808) that effectively makes it easier to funnel children away from their parents and into state custody. The law that takes effect July 1st, 2024, allows Tennessee Department of Children’s Services to file a petition for termination of parental rights within 90 days if there has been substantial noncompliance by a parent or guardian with the statement of responsibilities in a permanency plan over a period of six months.

Legislation that allows the Department of Tourist Development to keep records hidden from the public at the discretion of the attorney general and tourism commissioner received a vote in favor from Sherrell. HB1692, now law, allows records to be exempt from public records laws if the information is deemed “sensitive.” A similar law passed in 1988, allowing the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to keep records secret for five years. Critics of the bill said it creates problems with transparency.

• Sherrell also voted in favor of a bill that some critics argue is very close in its makeup to a “red flag” bill. HB1625 expands mandatory reporting laws for mental health professionals. The legislation, which was signed into law on April 23rd and became effective immediately, requires a report be made on a patient to local law enforcement, 988, or a local health facility if the individual makes what a mental health professional deems a threat against a group of people related to a school or against a family member of the patient. Critics of the bill voiced concern regarding privacy laws and how reported information would be stored and used. Mental health professionals are also given civil, criminal, and regulatory immunity given the subjective way in which they might perceive something to be a threat.

• A new law (HB1695) that prevents the autopsies of minors who are victims of violent crimes from becoming part of public record, and so protects violent offenders also received Sherrell’s vote.

Sherrell’s two Republican challengers in the primary are Tim Lewis and Robert McCormick.

Lewis has completed the 2024 Ballotpedia Candidate Connection survey which may be read in full HERE.

In his answers, Lewis describes himself as a Conservative Christian and “regular blue collar guy.” Some of his reasons for running include limiting governmental intrusion and protecting the constitution. A supporter of second amendment rights, Lewis vows to “never vote for red flag laws.” Voting to restrict illegal aliens from accessing state benefits is also a priority for Lewis, as are parental rights, state sovereignty, and transparency for taxpayers.

His three key messages of his campaign are:

• Stopping illegal immigration into the state

• Making sure no red flag laws are passed

• Keeping children safe from woke ideology in our schools

Lewis named Senator Janice Bowling (R-Tullahoma-District 16), The Tennessee Conservative’s 2022 Conservative Legislator of the Year, as someone he looks up to in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Robert McCormick is a businessman and “Conservative Republican” who is currently serving a second term as County Commissioner.


About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at

5 thoughts on “Paul Sherrell Running For Reelection: A Look At His Voting Record

  • June 14, 2024 at 5:50 pm

    Sherrell is exactly what Tennessee does NOT need.

  • June 14, 2024 at 6:17 pm

    THANX!! for spotlighting lucifer’s RINOs.

  • June 14, 2024 at 11:40 pm

    My name is Tim Lewis and I am running against Paul In the primary August 1 early voting begins July 11 If you live in district 43, I would love to have your support

  • June 15, 2024 at 5:45 pm

    Vote this rhino lib out

  • June 16, 2024 at 6:33 am

    Take a look at the fellows who killed HB2486. Yikes.


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