Kurita: 'Quit talking about the past'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee State Sen. Rosalind Kurita disputed claims that her narrow victory in Tennessee's primary may have resulted from her crossing party lines to put a Republican in the Senate speaker post.

Kurita was ahead of Clarksville attorney Tim Barnes by 19 votes in the unofficial tally after all precincts in Senate District 22 reported Thursday night.

The Clarksville attorney has yet to concede, and says he wants to verify the votes.

Kurita came under fire last year when she crossed party lines to help unseat John Wilder from the post he had held for 36 years in favor of Republican Ron Ramsey. Ramsey persuaded Kurita to vote for him over the 87-year-old Wilder, and he rewarded her with the position of Senate speaker pro tem, the ceremonial No. 2 position in the chamber.

Kurita told The Associated Press on Friday that's she's ready to move on and "quit talking about the past."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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