TN Politics: Safety at Polling Places, Senate Candidates, and Renaming Streets

Jul 24, 2020

With early voting underway in Shelby County at 26 different polling locations, politicial analyst Otis Sanford says coronavirus safety measures currently in place should be encouraging for those concerned about their health. Absentee ballots are also still an option, though they must be requested

In the race for Tennessee's U.S. Senate seat to replace Lamar Alexander, the two Republican candidates in the primary are both campaigning as ultra-conservative Trump supporters. Bill Hagerty, a former ambassador to Japan, received Trump's endorsement. "The angry liberal mob is out of control," claims one of Hagerty's ads, depicting urban rioters. Manny Sethi is a pro-Trump Nashville surgeon who is staunchly opposed to Obamacare in a state where one in ten residents are uninsured and the Republican legislature has refused Medicaid expansion to help the poorest Tennesseans receive coverage. "I oppose government in our healthcare, I oppose single-payer, and I oppose universal healthcare. Period," says Sethi, who also believes laws designed to prevent mentally ill people from obtaining firearms are unconstitutional. 

Finally, this week the Memphis city council declined to fast-track the renaming of Poplar Avenue in front of the police station to Black Lives Matter Avenue. Sanford believes a slow and thoughtful process is needed for any street renaming, and shouldn't be rushed.