Gloria Johnson is on a mission. She’s seen the headlines, she’s heard the cries, and she’s ready to challenge the status quo. One of the fearless “Tennessee Three” who found themselves in the GOP crosshairs for rallying around gun reform, Johnson is stepping up her game and eyeing a U.S. Senate seat for 2024.
Making her big reveal on X (yep, good ol’ Twitter’s new identity), Johnson’s campaign kick-off video pulls no punches. The haunting sound bites of news reports on mass shootings set a somber tone. But Johnson’s voice rises above: “When will enough be enough? When will we elect leaders with the courage to stand up for us instead of a bunch of bullies and cowards who only do what their party says?”
She proudly recalls her days in the state legislature, fighting alongside Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, championing gun legislation after a gut-wrenching mass shooting at Covenant School in Nashville. These three dared to disrupt the floor of the state House with a protest, earning them an expulsion vote from the GOP-majority chamber. The verdict? Only Johnson survived, which she links to her being a 60-year-old white woman, contrasting with the young Black men beside her.
But Johnson isn’t just a one-issue candidate. She’s got health care on her radar, dreaming of a future where it’s not a luxury but an affordable right. Reproductive rights? She’s standing as their guardian. Taking a sharp jab at the current senator, Marsha Blackburn, Johnson declared, “That person ain’t Marsha Blackburn.”
Let’s not sugarcoat it; the road ahead is tough. Tennessee paints itself a deep shade of red, supporting the GOP like it’s going out of style. Trump won here in 2020 by a whopping 23 points, while Blackburn secured her senatorial seat with an almost 11-point lead in 2018. If Johnson pulls off a win, she’d be the first Democrat since Al Gore in 1990 to clinch a U.S. Senate seat in Tennessee.
Yet, here’s where it gets intriguing. While the electoral outcomes might lean Republican, the voices on the ground have a different tale. A recent Vanderbilt University poll uncovered that the majority of Tennessee residents resonate with Johnson’s key issues. A staggering 82% approve of bolstering background checks, 75% endorse “red flag” laws, and half support a ban on assault weapons.
Similarly, on the abortion front, Tennessee’s hard stance on the issue doesn’t align with the majority. Most folks believe in some level of abortion rights, with 59% advocating for access to abortion medication.
So, as the 2024 race heats up, Johnson’s journey is one to watch. The tides might be shifting, and Tennessee could very well be on the brink of an epic political transformation!