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Pody wins state Senate seat by 300 votes

Jacob Smith • Dec 19, 2017 at 9:43 PM

Republican Mark Pody beat out Democrat Mary Alice Carfi in Tuesday’s District 17 state Senate special election by 308 votes.

Pody received 5,990 votes in District 17, while Carfi received 5,682. Pody won in Cannon, Macon and Wilson counties, while Carfi won in Clay, DeKalb and Smith counties. Four of the six counties were decided by 3 percent or fewer votes. The largest difference came from Macon County, where Pody won 64.26 percent to Carfi’s 35.74 percent.

“This was a team effort,” said Pody. “I want to thank everybody who worked for my campaign, but most of all I want to thank God, because without Him, I don’t get this win.”

According to Wilson County Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren, there are 13 provisional ballots in Wilson County, and he expects a similar number from other counties, which wouldn’t be enough to change the outcome. The election will be certified Dec. 28, and the provisional votes will be counted then.

 “I would like to congratulate Mark Pody on a hard-fought victory,” said Lt. Governor Randy McNally. “His strong, conservative message resonated with the people of District 17. I look forward to working with him to reduce taxes, keep our budget balanced and bring jobs to Tennessee. He will be an outstanding state senator for the people of Wilson, Cannon, DeKalb, Smith, Clay and Macon counties.”

In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump won District 17 with 72 percent. Carfi and the Tennessee Democratic Party both saw an increase in Democrat votes in the special election.

“We ran a really respectable race,” said Carfi. “The fact that this race was close, it sends a message. It sends a message that we’re going to be working, that the Democratic Party will be working, to improve the lives of people across party lines.”

“On behalf of all Tennessee Democrats, we want to thank Mary Alice Carfi for stepping up and running an incredible race,” said Mary Mancini, chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party. “This was a grassroots campaign driven by volunteers who made over 29,000 door knocks and phone calls and had over 6,000 conversations with voters in the district. Mary Alice inspired people to get involved by leading with her values and fighting for Tennessee families. While we came up short, we showed a tremendous improvement in a difficult district that Donald Trump won by 50 points, 72 percent to 22 percent.”

Carfi said it’s too early to say whether she would run again in next year’s election, but given the close results, she wouldn’t mind the opportunity to try again.

“With everything that’s going on with my family right now, I would have to talk to them before I commit,” said Carfi. “I would like to take another shot at it, but I need to talk to my family before I say anything else.”

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