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Sumner County, Tennessee Commission votes to seat a Republican who was tied with her Democratic opponent

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Rachel Iacavone
Republican Terri Boyt (left) and Democrat Brenda Dotson (right) tied for a seat on the Sumner County Commission in August.

Sumner County’s newly elected commission seated a Republican candidate who was tied with her Democratic opponent during a contentious meeting Thursday night.

The District 13 race last month ended in a tie between Republican Terri Boyt and Democrat Brenda Dotson.

Commissioners could have chosen to let the voters decide in a runoff election in November. Commissioner Dan Sullivan spoke in support of a motion to do just that.

“Now let me be clear I want nothing more than for Terri Boyt, the Republican candidate in District 13, to be elected because I am a Republican,” Sullivan said. “But I believe this is a decision that should be voted on by the people of District 13.”

But the motion failed.

Commissioner Jeremy Mansfield immediately made a motion to instead elect Republican Terri Boyt. It passed on a 20-1 vote, keeping the commission solidly Republican.

No Democrats have been elected to the Sumner County Commission since the 1990s. Dotson, a Black woman, called the process unfair.