They got tossed by the Republican majority Tennessee state lawmakers for a gun protest…..
They have been returned by their districts voters…..
The two young, Black Tennessee state House Democrats whose expulsion sparked a nationwide controversy in April, will win reelection on Thursday, CNN projects.
State Rep. Justin Jones, who first won the overwhelmingly Democratic, Nashville-area District 52 seat with no Republican opposition in the 2022 general election, will defeat his largely unknown GOP opponent Laura Nelson.
State Rep. Justin Pearson, who first won the deep blue Democratic, Memphis-area District 86 in a special election earlier this year, faced no Republican opposition for his seat, but he will defeat little-known independent Jeff Johnston.
Both Jones and Pearson were reinstated on an interim basis by local officials within a week of their expulsion. But the two needed to win Thursday’s special elections in order to retain their seats for the remainder of their two-year terms.
The GOP supermajority had cited breaches of decorum after the lawmakers had led a gun control protest from the statehouse floor in response to a Nashville school shooting that left three children and three adults dead. Their protest alongside Democratic state Rep. Gloria Johnson led to them being dubbed the “Tennessee Three.” Johnson, a White woman, also faced an expulsion vote, but was not ousted.
Their expulsion in April turned into a flashpoint in debates over gun violence, race and what forms of protest are acceptable.
Jones and Pearson met with President Joe Biden weeks after their ousters.
“What the Republican legislature did was shocking. It was undemocratic,” Biden said in April.
Tennessee was home to three state legislative special elections on Thursday…..