JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Rep. Scotty Campbell resigned after an ethics committee determined he violated the General Assembly’s discrimination and harassment policy.
The bipartisan Workplace Discrimination and Harassment Subcommittee sent a letter to House Speaker Cameron Sexton on March 29 with its determination that Campbell had violated the policy.
On Thursday afternoon, Campbell resigned. His resignation letter simply read: “I resign from the Tennessee House of Representatives. Effective immediately.”
Campbell represented House District 3, which includes all of Johnson and part of Carter, Hawkins, and Sullivan counties.
With Campbell’s seat now vacant, what will the process of replacing him look like?
Filling the vacancy
According to the Tennessee Constitution, if the vacancy occurs with 12 or more months remaining before the next general election, a special election must be held to fill the remainder of the vacated member’s term. The next general election isn’t until November 2024.
However, an interim successor may be appointed by the county commission of the replaced legislator’s county of residence, which would be Johnson County in Campbell’s case, to serve until a successor is elected.
Johnson County’s mayor issued a statement following Campbell’s resignation saying his office will work with the county commission on appointing someone to fill the seat.
“While we are just learning of the events that have transpired which have resulted in the resignation by State Representative Scotty Campbell, our office will work with our County Commission regarding the appointment of the individual who will complete the term on behalf of Johnson County. The public will be notified of the process and of any pending meetings regarding this matter.”Johnson County Mayor Larry Potter
The county commission is scheduled to have its quarterly meeting Thursday night, but it’s unclear if the matter will be discussed.
When will the election take place?
Under state law, a primary election will be held 55 to 60 days after the governor issues writs of election. The general election will take place 100 to 107 days after the writs are issued.
The governor issues writs within 20 days of a vacancy.
In special primary and general elections, there doesn’t have to be an early voting period prior to the election if there is only one candidate running, according to state law. If early voting does take place, it will begin on the 20th day and end on the fifth day before Election Day.
Who pays for it?
When it comes to special elections for General Assembly, the state reimburses all costs incurred by county election commissions.