Death in the Night - a Fiterman Novel

Thu Nov 5 16:57:54 PST 1998

Emergency write-in candidates sometimes win !!!  Of course, if the crime
happens just before election day or on election day, there might not be a
Date:  Tue, Nov 3, 1998 11:10 PM EDT
From:  SErtelt
Subj:  CAMPEL-L:  TN Widow Takes Seat (news)

Tenn. Senate Seat Taken by Widow

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The widow of a popular state senator who was killed
two weeks ago overwhelmingly won her write-in campaign Tuesday over the man
charged with the slaying.

Early returns showed Democrat Charlotte Burks with 5,024 votes, or 97 percent.
Republican Byron (Low Tax) Looper, who ran his campaign from jail after his
Oct. 23 arrest, had 3 percent, or 147 votes.

Looper, the Putnam County property assessor, is charged with killing Sen.
Tommy Burks, a conservative Democrat who was gunned down as he sat in a pickup
truck on his farm Oct. 19.

The killing occurred within 30 days of the election, so Democrats were not
allowed to replace Burks' name on the ballot. Mrs. Burks was persuaded to run,
and her write-in campaign blossomed even though she never campaigned publicly.

Election officials in the eight-county district reported heavy turnout.

``I think the people were just so outraged by what happened to Senator Burks
because he had done so much for us for so many years. People wanted to give
back,'' said Missy Fincher, whose husband, Henry, coordinated the write-in

Looper, who legally changed his middle name to (Low Tax) -- parenthesis
included -- continued to campaign, including running radio ads Monday. His
lawyer said he was ``optimistic'' about his chances.

But even the state GOP and Gov. Don Sundquist, a Republican, endorsed Mrs.

``It's sort of a tribute to Tommy, and to his life and what he meant to
everybody,'' Mrs. Burks said Monday.

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