County readies for special election

Xavier Smith • Dec 18, 2017 at 4:17 PM

Wilson County residents will have a new District 17 state Senator after two candidates square off in Tuesday’s special election.

Republican Mark Pody and Democrat Mary Alice Carfi battle for the District 17 Senate seat vacated by Mae Beavers when she decided to focus on her run for governor. Counties that make up District 17 include Wilson, Cannon, DeKalb, Smith and Macon.

More than 5,000 District 17 residents cast their ballots during early voting, which ended Thursday.

Wilson County had the most residents participate as 3,310 people in the county cast their vote. Smith County was second with 733 voters: DeKalb had 465; Macon 380; Cannon 251; and Clay 190.

The Lebanon Democrat held a candidate forum at Cumberland University last month.

Carfi, a Wilson County attorney, said during the forum that it’s time for some “common sense” in the Senate. Pody, an insurance agency owner and current state representative, listed his top priorities as conservative fiscal policies and bringing high-paying jobs to the district.

“Right now, people are struggling in Tennessee. They are struggling to pay their mortgage. They’re struggling to put food on the table, and they’re struggling to pay for their health care. These are things legislators need to focus on,” Carfi said. “We have to make peoples’ lives better in the state of Tennessee. Instead of being so divided and voting down party lines, we’ve got to focus on these issues and do things that are going to make peoples’ lives better.”

Pody recited the Tennessee Republican Party’s platform in his opening statement, which included principles that marriage is between a man and woman, the right to bear arms, freedom to use individual abilities to pursue personal gain as long as it doesn’t infringe on the rights of others and more.

“I’m a Republican, and I’m running for the job as your next state senator,” Pody said.

Residents voting Tuesday on Election Day should remember to bring valid photo identification issued by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, as well as photo identification issued by Tennessee state government or the federal government, are acceptable even if they are expired. College student identification will not be accepted.

Residents can find their assigned polling place on voter registration cards or at tnmap.tn.gov/voterlookup.

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