Jones wins back seat, Behn wins District 51 primary

Justin Jones won back his District 52 seat, while Aftyn Behn won the District 51 Democratic primary.
Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 8:16 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Tennessee Rep. Justin Jones faced Republican candidate Laura Nelson on Thursday in the House District 52 general election.

The special election was called after Jones was expelled from the House in April. Jones, who faced Republican Laura Nelson, overwhelmingly won back his seat with 78% of the vote. Jones and Justin Pearson, who also won back his House seat, were both expelled for their involvement in a gun control protest on the House floor days after the mass shooting at The Covenant School.

After Pearson and Jones were expelled, the two raised more than $2 million combined through about 70,400 campaign donations from across the country. Meanwhile, more than 15 Republican lawmakers have funneled cash to fund the campaign efforts of Jones’ Republican opponent. Nelson has raised more than $34,000 for the race.

Jones is a community activist who was first elected to his House seat in November 2022.

Primary elections were also held for those who reside in House District 51 after Rep. Bill Beck died in June.

Community organizer Aftyn Behn and former Metro Council Member Anthony Davis faced off in the Democratic primary. Behn won the primary and will now face Republican David C. Hooven and independent candidate Annabelle Lee in the general election on Sept. 14.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.