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.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (Photo: John Partipilo)

House Republicans call on Vanderbilt hospital to stop transgender surgeries on minors

By: - September 29, 2022

Tennessee House Republicans sent a letter Wednesday to Vanderbilt hospital urging it to immediately stop gender transitioning surgeries on minors. Sixty-two members of the House Republican Caucus signed the request in the wake of social media videos purportedly showing a physician calling the surgeries a “huge money maker” because of the number of follow-up visits […]

"Number One, I don't like charter schools." Rep. Kent Calfee, R-Kingston (Photo: John Partipilo)

House chairman knocks charter commission override authority

By: - September 28, 2022

The House chairman of the Joint Government Operations Subcommittee on Tuesday criticized the authority of a state commission to overrule local school boards that turn down charter school applications. Rep. Kent Calfee, a Kingston Republican who is stepping down from the Legislature this fall, spoke out against the ability of the Tennessee Public Charter School […]

Trousdale Turner Correctional Facility (Photo: Tennessee Department of Corrections)

Lawmaker raises specter of federal takeover of Tennessee prison system

By: - September 27, 2022

Lawmakers blasted the Department of Correction Monday for making a weak response to a 2020 audit, with one legislator questioning whether the federal courts need to take over Tennessee’s prison system again. Prison system officials contended they had solved nearly every problem raised by the Comptroller’s Office two years ago, but they presented few details […]

Photo of campaign buttons saying Vote 2022. (Getty Images)

Moderate and ultra-conservative face off in 59th District House race

By: - September 26, 2022

The race to fill the new 59th District House seat in southern Davidson County pits self-styled moderate Democrat Caleb Hemmer against ultra-conservative Republican Michelle Foreman. If Foreman were to win the Nov. 8 election, she would be the only Republican House member in the Davidson County delegation. Hemmer, who works in corporate development for American […]

Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Democratic leaders push back on calls for Vanderbilt transgender clinic investigation

By: and - September 23, 2022

A day after Gov. Bill Lee and state Republican leaders called for an investigation into transgender care at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Democratic leaders pushed back, saying that “hate” was being used “for political purposes.” “Parents should be able to make decisions in regard to their children’s health. That is something Republicans claim to fight […]

Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron speaks to residents in a March address on COVID-19. (Photo:

Stockard on the Stump: MTSU recycles embattled state senator, county mayor

By: - September 23, 2022

Despite paying a $135,000 civil penalty for campaign finance violations, former state Senator and Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron landed a plum job this week with MTSU. Ketron, who lost both as a Democrat and Republican to Nancy Allen for the county mayor’s seat in the ’90s before winning a Senate seat, will be the […]

Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Republican lawmakers plan to strip Vanderbilt Hospital of child transgender surgeries

By: and - September 21, 2022

Fueled by a Twitter report, Republican lawmakers are planning to pass legislation in 2023 to stop Vanderbilt University Medical Center from performing pediatric transgender surgeries. Meanwhile, Gov. Bill Lee requested an investigation, and Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti’s Office said he will use the “full scope” of his authority to make sure state law is being […]

U.S. Supreme Court building (Photo: U.S. Supreme Court website)

North Carolina uses “fraudulent” document in gerrymandering case before high court

By: - September 21, 2022

A group of legal experts says North Carolina is using a “fraudulent” document from 1818 to make its argument in a gerrymandering case set to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this fall. A Politico op-ed written by Ethan Herenstin, counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law, and Brian […]

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (Photo: TBI)

Lawmakers promise to seek more TBI crime lab funding in wake of high-profile case

By: - September 20, 2022

State lawmakers are expected to pour more funds into a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation crime lab personnel after a Memphis murder shed light on the fact some rape kits are languishing for eight months to nearly a year unless they get “rush” status from local law enforcement. The Jackson crime lab, which handles Shelby County […]

Metro Nashville Courthouse. (Photo: John Partipilo)

No Tax 4 Nash group reaches $1M settlement in class action lawsuit

By: - September 16, 2022

An anti-tax group that targeted Nashville Mayor John Cooper and Metro Council members for recall will pay more than $1 million as part of a legal settlement after it used pre-recorded robocalls to contact Nashville voters in July 2020. Metro Nashville School Board member Rachael Anne Elrod, attorney Andrew Kaufman and Sarah Martin filed the […]

Speaker of the House Cameron Sexton backed addition of Centene Corp. to TennCare through a no-bid contract. (Photo: John Partipilo)

Stockard on the Stump: Democratic Caucus chair, House Speaker trade barbs in run-up to session

By: - September 16, 2022

The 113th General Assembly is four months away, and Democrats and Republicans are sparring already. Well,  a more realistic term would be street fighting. To put it lightly, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Vincent Dixie is calling House Speaker Cameron Sexton a racist, and Sexton is calling Dixie a liar. Dixie, who’s no stranger to doling […]

Tess Stovall, left, executive director of the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission, and Ashley Thomas, general counsel, at Thursday's public hearing in Rutherford County. (Photo: Justin Kanew/Tennessee Holler)

Sparks fly over Hillsdale-affiliated charter school appeal in Rutherford

By: - September 15, 2022

In a state public hearing dominated by supporters of Hillsdale-affiliated American Classical Academy Rutherford, opponents of the charter school say they were shut out of a chance to speak. By the time Elizabeth Vollbrecht tried to sign up to voice her views at Wednesday’s event run by the Tennessee Public Charter School Commission, the deadline […]