MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Over 1,300 voters in Johnson County and parts of Carter, Hawkins, and Sullivan counties have already cast their ballots in the special election for the Tennessee House District 3 seat.

That’s out of nearly 45,000 registered voters in the district.

The District 3 seat was left empty after former state Rep. Scotty Campbell resigned in the aftermath of a bi-partisan ethics investigation that found Campbell had violated the House’s workplace harassment policy.

Ballots cast during early votingTotal registered voters
Johnson County78711,395
Hawkins County19410,323
Carter County985,068
Sullivan County26418,163

Republican Timothy Hill, who was appointed interim representative, will face Democrat Lori Love in the election on Thursday.

Love spent the last 24 hours before the election phone banking with volunteers.

She told News Channel 11 she’s running to disrupt the status quo.

She’s the first Democrat to run for the seat since 2012. If elected, she would be the first person besides Campbell or Hill to hold the seat since 2010.

“They were just playing musical chairs with this seat,” said Love. “Scotty was in it. Tim was in it. Scotty was in it. Tim is in it. We need change and maybe I’m the person that can create that change.”

Whoever wins the seat will represent the district at Gov. Bill Lee’s special legislative session on public safety and consider his proposal to limit access to firearms for individuals deemed dangerous.

Though she didn’t weigh in on the specifics, Love said she would be open to a proposal like the one Lee put forward at the end of the last legislative session.

“If we could limit access to guns for some people and maybe access to assault-type guns,” Love said. “I do know that doing nothing is not an option,” said Love.

Among her other priorities, Love said, are investigating whether a highway could be built to Mountain City and expanding broadband access across the state.

Hill did not respond to our requests for an interview this week.

Speaking with News Channel 11 before early voting last month, Hill said he would not support the governor’s proposal.

“I think we need to go if the governor makes the call, we need to go and we need to do our work,” Hill said in June. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for us to stand up for what we believe in. And I’m going to stand up in favor of the Second Amendment.”

“They also know that I’m conservative,” Hill said. “My core principles, they’re not going to change. They haven’t changed from when I left office and went into the private sector until now into I’m very much the same person.”

Hill previously represented District 3 from 2013 through Nov. 2020.

Polling places open at 8 a.m. Thursday.