NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Metro Council voted to reappoint former Tennessee Representative Justin Jones Monday afternoon.
After Jones was expelled by the House Thursday night, support from a majority of Metro Councilmembers was immediate.
Four Councilmembers have confirmed with News 2 they will be supporting Jones Monday, including Jeff Syracuse, Russ Pulley, Burkley Allen and Freddie O’Connell. Courtney Johnston will not be in attendance but said she will support Jones.
Social media posts from Sandra Sepulveda, Kevin Rhoten, Bob Mendes, Emily Benedict, Tom Cash and Brett Withers all support reappointing Jones.
If Jones is appointed by a simple majority Monday night, he would hold the interim position until a special election is held. He would then have to run for re-election.
If there are objections, the Council would go through the typical Rule 49 process, which stipulates at least four weeks between the vacancy announcement and when the seat can be filled.
Jones was expelled from his District 52 seat on Thursday, April 6 after he and two other representatives, Gloria Johnson and Justin Pearson, led chants on the House floor during a gun violence protest last week. The vote to expel Rep. Gloria Johnson (D—Knoxville) failed by one vote. Speaker Cameron Sexton said he stands by the expulsion.
The protests came in reaction to the mass shooting at The Covenant School where six people, including three 9-year-old children, were killed.
Jones represents a large part of Nashville. The 27-year-old took office this past January.
Mickell Lowery, the chairman of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners, said in a statement Sunday that the panel will consider at a meeting Wednesday whether to reappoint Pearson.
Pearson said the statehouse has been a “toxic work environment.” He noted the scrutiny he received for wearing a black dashiki — a tunic-like garment that originated in west Africa — for session, rather than a suit and tie.