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VOL. 41 | NO. 44 | Friday, November 3, 2017

Tracy resigns Senate seat to accept Trump appointment

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SHELBYVILLE – State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) today announced he has resigned his 14th District seat and speaker pro tempore of the Senate post effective immediately.

President Donald Trump appointed Tracy to the position of Tennessee State Director for Rural Development late Friday. Tracy has accepted the appointment and under the Tennessee Constitution is required to relinquish his Senate seat.

"Serving the people of the 14th Senatorial District has been the honor of my lifetime. I'm proud of my record over the past 13 years and thankful for the many friendships I've made along the way," Tracy says.

"It has been a tremendous journey. I was grateful to be able to help my friend former Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey build our majority in the Senate to put conservative ideas into action. And I was beyond honored to serve in leadership as Lt. Governor McNally's Speaker Pro Tempore.

"Trena and I have been truly blessed to serve the people of the 14th District. I am excited to continue my public service promoting and strengthening Tennessee's and rural areas. This is a great opportunity to serve my nation and my state doing something I am truly passionate about. I look forward to working with Secretary Perdue to make a difference in rural Tennessee."

Tracy is an insurance agent and former college basketball referee from Shelbyville who has served in the state Senate since 2004. He fell 38 votes shy in his primary challenge of U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais in 2014.

Tracy was first elected to the state Senate in 2004. He most recently served as the Senate Speaker Pro Tempore and formerly served as chairman of the Senate's Transportation and Safety Committee.

Senator Tracy's resignation from the Senate will trigger a special election in District 14. The date of the special election will be determined by the governor.

Republican Senate Speaker Randy McNally of Oak Ridge in a statement called Tracy "an outstanding hire" for the Trump administration.

Tracy this year was a major proponent of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's transportation funding program that included a 6-cent gas tax hike to tackle a backlog of road projects.