Kentucky state senator defends ‘Tennessee 3,’ says expulsion is blatantly racist, insult to voters

WEKU | By John McGary
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Lexington, Ky.–A Lexington lawmaker said he admires the so-called “Tennessee Three,” two of whom were expelled late last week from that state’s House of Representatives. State Senator Reggie Thomas of Lexington said people should remember what they were trying to talk about in the wake of a school shooting in Nashville – gun reform.

“The public wants it and the percentages grow every month, as we talk more and more about it. Your public want stronger background checks, the public wants assault weapons removed from our streets.”

Rep. Justin J Pearson was expelled from the Tennessee Legislature, but has since been reinstated pending a special election. (Creative Commons)

The two Tennessee state representatives who were expelled are Black and were expelled for violating decorum rules. The third, who survived by one vote, is white. Special elections will be held to fill the two vacated seats, and it’s possible both expelled lawmakers will regain theirs.

Thomas, who is Black, is a Democrat and the Senate minority leader. He called the Tennessee expulsions blatantly racist – and an insult to the voters who sent the expelled lawmakers to Nashville.

“They were elected by the people in their districts. And so they had a right to be there, okay. But they want to they want to take their constituents choices, and just eliminate that you can’t do that job without some kind of formal process.”

Thomas, who’s been in office since 2014, said he’s never seen the president of the Kentucky state Senate refuse to allow someone to speak on the floor.

Republished with permission from WEKU.

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Photo: State Sen. Reggie Thomas (D-Lexington) calls the expulsion of two of the so-called “Tennessee 3” blatantly racist and an insult to the voters who sent them to Nashville. (Official photo)