Dates Set for Special Election to Fill Late Democrat State Representative Barbara Cooper’s Seat

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Secretary of State Tre Hargett announced official dates for the special primary and general election in House District 86 to fill the opening left by the death of Democratic State Representative Barbara Cooper (D-Memphis).

Cooper passed away on October 25th at 93 years old. She was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1996, winning re-election ever since.

Cooper’s victory in the most recent general election created a vacancy in the seat, despite her passing.

Since Cooper’s death occurred “within forty days before the general election for Office of State Representative, District 86, and, in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 2-5-204, her name remained on the ballot for that election,” according to a writ of election released by Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office.

The voter registration deadline for the special primary election is on December 27th. Early voting begins for the primary election on January 4th, 2023, and runs through January 19th, 2023. The last day to request an absentee ballot for the primary election is January 17th, 2023.

During her most recent term as State Representative, Cooper served as a member on the following committees: Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, Naming and Designating Committee, State Government Committee, Health and Safety Committee of the Second Extraordinary Session, and Covid-19 Committee of the Third Extraordinary Session.

During her time in office, Cooper was also involved in over 45 community groups and projects.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Barbara Cooper” by Tennessee General Assembly. Background Photo “Election Day” by Phil Roeder. CC BY 2.0.


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