Appeals panel weighs challenge to Tennessee primary

CINCINNATI (AP) -- A former Tennessee state senator has asked a federal appeals court to order a special election to give her a chance to reclaim a seat she lost after Democrats removed her as the party's standard bearer.

Attorneys for Rosalind Kurita on Tuesday told the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals that the Tennessee Democratic Party improperly placed Clarksville attorney Tim Barnes on the November 2008 ballot, even though Kurita bested him by 19 votes in the primary.

Attorneys for the Democratic Party and state of Tennessee told a three-judge panel that primaries are a function of the parties, not the state.

Democrats were angry with Kurita after she cast a key vote in favor of then-Sen. Ron Ramsey in the Republican's election as Senate speaker in 2007.


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