Democratic party panel to hear 19-vote challenge

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Democratic Party's executive committee is scheduled to meet Sept. 13 to consider a state Senate candidate's challenge of primary results.

Clarksville attorney Tim Barnes is challenging his 19-vote loss to incumbent state Sen. Rosalind Kurita in last month's Democratic primary. There is no Republican running for the seat.

Kurita, who has served in the Senate since 1996, drew the ire of fellow Democrats by crossing party lines to cast a key vote in favor of Republican Sen. Ron Ramsey's successful bid to become Senate speaker in 2007.

State Election Coordinator Brook Thompson says absentee ballots must be mailed by Sept. 20, so Democrats will have to decide quickly who their nominee for the Senate district representing Cheatham, Houston and Montgomery counties will be.

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

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