District 13 candidates Loe and Johnson in close race

District 13 candidates Loe and Johnson take to the airwaves

Gov. Haslam endorsed Loe in his ad. Gov. Haslam endorsed Loe in his ad.
Johnson's ad touts her experience as a teacher. Johnson's ad touts her experience as a teacher.

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Candidates Gloria Johnson and Gary Loe, who are both vying for the state House District 13 seat, have been hitting the airwaves as Election Day draws near.    

Democrat Gloria Johnson, a school teacher, wants to help reform the state's education system.  

"For me, getting education right is how we build our economy, sort of the engine that drives our drives our future, and we need to invest in our future," said Johnson.     

Republican Gary Loe, an owner of a video production company, said his small business experience will help to improve the economy.

"I'll take that experience to Nashville and work with Gov. Haslam to create the best business environment in Knoxville and create good paying jobs in our community," Loe said.

The race is becoming pivotal as Republicans look to gain a supermajority in both chambers.     

Both candidates have TV ads. Gov. Haslam endorsed Gary Loe in his ad.

The race is also becoming contentious. The state Republican and Democratic parties are circulating mailings attacking both candidates.

One ad attacks Loe for being too extreme, even saying he's taking orders from Stacy Campfield and that he's bankrolling his campaign.

Another ad attacks Gloria Johnson's stance on Tennessee's voter ID law.

6 News Political Analyst George Korda said the issues aren't specific to this race or district.        

"What we're seeing is attacks based on emotional issues, on voter ID, voter fraud, abortion. These are emotional issues designed to try to stimulate enthusiasm in your core supporters," said Korda.

Both candidates said they don't endorse the attacks.

"Attack ads have become a part of campaigns, but as you know we had nothing to do with the ad," said Loe.

"My problem with negative campaigning is that it depresses turnout," Johnson said.

For whoever wins, it will mark the first time either of the candidates has won an elected office.

Johnson lost last year in the District 6 state Senate race.

Loe lost in the 2010 Republican primary District 18 race.     

Nick Cazana, a retired businessman, is also on the ballot, running as an independent.

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