The Shelbyville Times-Gazette reported on Friday that former State Rep. Billy Spivey (R-Lewisburg) has been “disqualified” from running in the State Senate District 14 special election to replace former State Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) “due to an unpaid fine levied by the Tennessee Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance.”
The Times-Gazette broke the story late Friday morning:
The election finance bureau, which is separate from the state election office, informed the election office that Spivey was ineligible, according to Adam Ghassemi, a spokesman for the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office, who referred more specific questions to the election finance registry. Drew Rawlins of the election finance office said that Spivey never paid a $425 fine which was assessed by the finance office because Spivey was late filing his campain finance statements for the fourth quarter of 2016. State law says that this type of unpaid fine makes a candidate ineligible, and because Spivey did not take care of it before the candidate filing deadline, he is ineligible to be on the ballot, said Rawlins.
The deadline for candidates to file for the special election was noon Thursday. Spivey had filed a candidate petition, but the state announced later in the day that he had been disqualified.
When asked by The Tennessee Star on Friday afternoon if he would appeal the disqualification, Spivey responded by text message, “Likely so.”
Former State Rep. Joe Carr (R-Lascassas) and Murfreesboro businessman Shane Reeves were qualified by the state to compete in the January 25 Republican primary.
Gayle Jordan is unopposed in the Democratic primary.
The winner of the Republican primary will face Jordan in the special general election on March 13.
The 14th State Senate District includes all of Marshall, Lincoln, Bedford, and Moore Counties, as well as the eastern half of Rutherford County.