Commissioner Briggs to run against Campfield for Senate

Knox Commissioner Richard Briggs to run against Stacey Campfield for Senate

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Dr. Richard Briggs (left) and Stacey Campfield Dr. Richard Briggs (left) and Stacey Campfield

By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knoxville's high-profile state senator now has a well-known challenger from within his own party.

Dr. Richard Briggs, a Knox County commissioner, said he's running in the Republican primary for the District 7 seat held by State Sen. Stacey Campfield. 

"I like a good fight. I like a good scrap," Campfield said. "I've always been me. I always try to stay true to what I believe in. Feel free to talk about it or not talk about it. You like it or don't like it. This is me. These are the things I believe in. I support the traditional family."

The way he does that sometimes puts him in the national spotlight, like Thursday night with Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central.

"He's a very funny guy. It's easy to make something sound funny when you take something out of context or you turn it to sound like something it really isn't," Campfield said.

"If I am fortunate enough to be elected senator, I don't want to be on national news. I want to be the quiet guy that's in there getting the job done, working for people," Briggs said. "I want to make it very clear, we're not running against any issues or any person. We're running for things. Some of those things include economic development, better jobs, lower taxes, better schools."

But it was just over two years ago that Briggs supported Campfield's run for senate, even contributing to his campaign.

"I think he's strayed some from the party principals," Briggs said. "Don't underestimate how hard a retired military colonel who's a cardiac surgeon, how hard that guy knows how to work."

"We'll see what happens at election time. May the best man win," Campfield said.

Former County Commissioner Frank Leuthold was named Briggs' treasurer in the campaign. 

Campfield, who's serving his first term as a senator, has been in the spotlight lately for his controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill. The bill prohibits any instruction, material or informational resources on LGBT discussions at schools.
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