Incumbent John DeBerry lost Tennessee’s House District 90 to Democratic candidate Torrey Harris on Tuesday. DeBerry lost by nearly 55 points, or just over 11,000 votes.
Although DeBerry had served the office as a Democrat for the last 26 years, the Democratic Party removed him from the primary ballot in April over disagreements with his views on abortion and education.
After, Governor Bill Lee passed a law allowing DeBerry to file as an independent candidate.
In a previous interview with The Tennessee Star, DeBerry explained that he was entirely unaware he’d been removed until it was too late.
“I was given absolutely no notice. I found out on late Monday and got details on Tuesday. And the vote was on Wednesday. And that’s how fast it went. How quickly it went. I was given no time to mouth a defense or say anything.”
In later interviews, DeBerry divulged that the Democratic Party mainly took issue with his pro-life beliefs.
Harris lost against DeBerry in the 2018 primary by about 20 points or just over 1,000 votes. The freshman state representative has been critical of DeBerry’s position on penalties against assaults on first responders. DeBerry experienced and participated in the civil rights movement firsthand, and has condemned the riots in Minneapolis and Kenosha.
According to Statistical Atlas, the district is predominantly Black and White, with about eight percent of citizens unemployed. Nearly 50 percent of individuals hold a high school diploma, and 34 percent have a higher degree. The 95th percentile of individuals have a median household income up to $174,000 – the 80th percentile caps at about $70,000.
After Harris won the race, he posted a picture of himself wearing a jacket with the names of Black individuals that died during interactions with the police.
“I won! I am Tennessee State Representative Torrey Harris with 78 percent of the votes! #Memphis #Elections #Democrat #JoeBiden #BlackLivesMatter #iMadeHistory4TimesTonight.”
DeBerry didn’t issue any remarks on the election by press time.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Torrey Harris” by Torrey Harris. Photo “John DeBerry” by Glenn Casada.