Author

Sam Stockard

Sam Stockard

Sam Stockard is a veteran Tennessee reporter and editor, having written for the Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, where he served as lead editor when the paper won an award for being the state's best Sunday newspaper two years in a row. He has led the Capitol Hill bureau for The Daily Memphian. His awards include Best Single Editorial from the Tennessee Press Association.

Tennessee House of Representatives. (Photo: Tennessee General Assembly)

DeBerry “surprised” by appointment to governor’s cabinet

By: - December 7, 2020

Former Memphis state Rep. John DeBerry, fresh off losing a re-election bid as a first-time independent candidate, says he was planning retirement after 26 years in the Legislature when Gov. Bill Lee tabbed him for a senior cabinet position. “This is one of the most unexpected things I have had happen to me in my […]

Tennessee House of Representatives Chambers (iStock Editorial/Getty Images)

Legislators could undercut governor’s emergency orders

By: - December 1, 2020

Amid questions about Tennessee’s elongated response to the COVID-19 pandemic, legislators are planning to cut drastically into a future governor’s ability to declare extended states of emergency. “If this state of emergency we’re in right now were a pregnancy, we would be diapering the baby,” state Rep. John Ragan said Tuesday, contending the virus is […]

Knox County Department of Health (Photo: Knox County)

COVID-19 decisions could shift to county mayors from public health boards

By: - November 20, 2020

Spurred by fears that appointed public health boards hold too much power in the COVID-19 pandemic, a state legislator is trying to change Tennessee law to put crucial decisions in the hands of county mayors in six large counties. State Rep. Jason Zachary, a Knoxville Republican, has filed House Bill 0007 in advance of the […]

U.S. Rep. Mark Green joins Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, top right, and Sen. Bill Powers, top left, in the Senate Chambers Jan. 22. (Photo: Facebook, Senate Republican Caucus)

Senate Republican Caucus backs Trump election challenge

By: - November 11, 2020

Senate Republicans joined a chorus of GOP leaders standing “absolutely and unequivocally” with President Donald Trump in his challenge of the 2020 election, saying it is “far from over,” even though most media outlets have “called” it in favor of former Vice President Joe Biden. Issued this week and signed by Lt. Gov. Randy McNally […]

Tennessee State Capitol (Getty Images)

Mancini to step down as Tennessee Democratic Party chair

By: - November 7, 2020

Four days after Tennessee Democrats made slight progress in statehouse races, Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Mary Mancini is set to leave the post, announcing Saturday she will not seek re-election in 2021. “It has been an honor of a lifetime to work with Democrats across the state and serve the Tennessee Democratic Party as chair […]

nthony Eubanks,68, and wife Anna Eubanks, 68, were going to vote by but decided to vote in person on the first day of early voting. The couple, who have been married for 46 years, said they didn’t trust the mail so decided to risk voting In person. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Tennessee’s vote-counting process is smooth in record-breaking year

By: - November 6, 2020

With key states in the presidential election holding up the outcome to count absentee ballots, Tennessee reported no such delays despite handling a record-breaking 3 million-plus votes, including more than 210,400 absentee ballots, after balking for months at legal challenges of the state’s mail-in voting laws. The state recorded 3,045,401 votes, a 68% turnout, topping […]

Memphis voters came out to vote at Peace Lutheran Church-ELCA in north Memphis for the 2020 election on Nov. 3, 2020. (Photo by Karen Pulfer Focht)

Legislature sees little change but first LGBT members

By: - November 4, 2020

Supermajority Republicans staved off Democratic challengers across Tennessee Tuesday, holding on to all but one seat. Yet despite the status quo results, the Legislature will make history by introducing its first openly LGBT members when the General Assembly is sworn in next year. In the only party shift of the night, former Oak Hill Mayor […]