TENNESSEE (WATE) — (Editor’s Note: This story will be regularly updated with any additional comments from former and current elected officials in Tennessee)
The country continues to respond following several national media outlets reporting that Democrat Joe Biden has reached 270 votes, making him the president-elect of the United States.
Recounts and legal proceedings are expected to follow over the coming days, and Republican President Donald Trump has announced he is not accepting the results.
Tennessee lawmakers, Democrat and Republican, are weighing in on Saturday’s announcements.
“President Trump is right – the American people deserve transparency and accountability in our elections. We need to ensure that every legal vote is counted – while illegally cast ballots are not counted – and that reports of irregularities are thoroughly examined.” – Senator Marsha Blackburn
“After counting every valid vote and allowing courts to resolve disputes, it is important to respect and promptly accept the result. The orderly transfer or reaffirming of immense power after a presidential election is the most enduring symbol of our democracy.” – Senator Lamar Alexander
“America is the greatest country in the world, we must ensure our election system is fair and transparent. President Trump and his team have been fighting to protect the integrity of the ballot box. I donated to the President’s legal defense fund, and I will continue to support his efforts.” – Bill Hagerty
“While numerous media outlets have declared Joe Biden our next President, there is a pending recount in GA and litigation in numerous states regarding the election for President of the United States. It is premature to declare a winner. We must work through the legal process to ensure the integrity of our elections results. I know that both sides of the aisle want to make sure every legal vote is counted before we declare a winner. I’m praying for our nation in the days ahead.” – State Representative Jason Zachary
“The American people have spoken in record numbers. Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States. We will be hearing Madame Vice President for the first time in history! A black woman, an Indian woman, and the daughter of immigrants—this is America. Now it’s time to come together and focus on solving the problems. Our schools are underfunded. Our economy is more unequal than ever before. Our people need access to affordable health care. And we must get control of the pandemic. Take a rest, but get ready to work.” – State Representative Gloria Johnson
“Every legal vote needs to be counted. In the close races, we need more transparency so there’s no question on the results. And the Trump campaign has every right to ask for recounts and make legal challenges. Back in 2000, Al Gore didn’t concede until Dec. 12, so there’s a precedent. I respect each states’ ability to handle their own elections, but clearly there are some – like Tennessee – that have a better model. Going forward, let’s hope others look to our great state for guidance on how to run an efficient and transparent election.” – Congressman Tim Burchett
“Today, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were announced as the winners of the 2020 Presidential Election. Our highest congratulations to the Biden/Harris team for their hard-earned victory; their diligence and determination has been truly remarkable. This stands as a monumental event in our country’s history not simply because we have seen a presidential candidate receive more votes than any other candidate ever, but after years of progress we have finally elected a woman to the second highest office in the land; and to add to this groundbreaking achievement, we have elected a woman of color. More than a half-century ago, political pioneer Margaret Chase Smith became the first woman to serve in both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate, eventually becoming the first woman to be placed in nomination for presidency from a major party during her bid for the 1964 presidential election. Not long after this, women began an even greater rise to prominence in American politics. From Shirley Chisholm’s revolutionary run for president in 1972 (the first Black person and Black woman to run as a major party candidate) to Geraldine Ferraro’s vice-presidential run alongside Walter Mondale in 1984, Democrats have worked to elect women to our highest offices. Republicans too have made strides in this fight, with Governor Sarah Palin becoming the first woman to appear as a Vice-Presidential candidate for the Republican party. We saw an unprecedented nomination in 2016 when Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated for president for any party, where she would go on to win the nation’s popular vote as well. These steps may not have led to immediate success, but they paved the way for today’s groundbreaking achievement. It is fitting that this momentous accomplishment has taken place in the same year that we celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the Women’s Suffrage Movement’s successful efforts to gain voting rights. The work done by courageous women a century ago continues to stand as an example of the victories Americans of all genders, races, creeds, sexual orientations and backgrounds can secure when their drive is strong enough and their cause is just; and this momentous election win will likewise serve to further illustrate the progress that we as a country can make in the face of difficult obstacles that may arise in the future. Despite the elation we feel today, we know our work is not finished. There are certainly still more battles ahead, but advancements such as the one we have seen today will assist in strengthening our resolve to make our state and our country better for every citizen.” – TN State House Minority Leader Karen Camper
“Congressman Fleischmann stands by President Trump and his campaign’s decision to start prosecuting their case in the courts to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated as stated in the President’s press release.” – Dalton Temple, Campaign Spokesman for Congressman Fleischmann
“The American people have spoken and an overwhelming majority of our citizens have chosen Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to lead our nation. This is an historic moment for the country and a proud moment for me personally. Nearly a year ago, I was honored to campaign for Joe in Iowa and then asked to share my story and endorsement at the Democratic National Convention. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have already made history. We turned out in record numbers to elect this team and Kamala is breaking racial and gender barriers as a daughter of immigrants, the first woman, first Black person, first Indian American and first Asian American elected to the vice presidency. I hope the entire state of Tennessee will join me in wishing our next president and vice president success in leading our country. Congratulations, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris!” – Senator Raumesh Akbari
“Democrats of Knox County are feeling very excited about this victory and we see a lot of the hard work that went in at the grassroots and ground-level really pay off. I think it’s poetic justice if you will. And it’s not history in the making but history has been made with this election and I’m just looking forward to the day to one day call Kamala Harris, President Harris.” – Vice-Chair Knox County Democratic Pary Sam Brown
“Trust is the foundation of our Democracy. There are numerous allegations of illegal voting across multiple states. Everyone, Republicans and Democrats alike, should support investigating these allegations so that the American people know their President was selected in a fair and unbiased manner. I encourage and support our President’s court challenge which will ensure every legal vote is counted in a fair and transparent process.” – Congresswoman-elect Diana Harshbarger
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