Around the South for Mar. 20: TN, FL & SC

Tennessee: GOP swamps Democrat in state Senate race. After the Democrats surged in early voting in a once-solid Republican district, Republicans pulled out all the stops, highlighting that Democratic nominee Gayle Jordan is an atheist, raising major money, and sending in party notables, such as US Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R). When the votes were counted, Republican businessman Shane Reeves had defeated Jordan by 43 points, a Red wave ……. Florida: Freshman Rooney shows his clout. In part because of his previous experience as a multinational businessman, first-year US Rep. Francis Rooney (R), named vice-chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week, is bringing major figures to his district to observe the importance of Everglades restoration projects, reports Sunshine State News. The visitors include former House Speaker John Boehner (R) and US Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), chairman of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee ……. South Carolina: Parnell spurs Norman to action. Democrats are expanding their list of target congressional districts to as many as 100 currently held by Republicans, reports the Washington Post. One of those is the 5th District in South Carolina, held by freshman Ralph Norman (R), who is facing a hard-charging challenge from his 2017 special election foe Archie Parnell (D), a retired Wall Street executive who raised $340,000 in the 1st Quarter. In response, Norman told the Post, “I do town halls, I do tele-town halls, I do opioid conferences – it’s a people game.” Stay tuned.