(The Center Square) – Tennessee state Rep. Gloria Johnson, D-Knoxville, announced Tuesday her plans to run for U.S. Senate against Republican Marsha Blackburn.
Blackburn has held the seat since 2019 after being a state senator from 1999 to 2003 and then a U.S. Representative from 2003 to 2019.
Blackburn defeated former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen for the seat.
Blackburn and Johnson could face off next year. Johnson is best known as being the member of a group of three Tennessee representatives who faced expulsion hearings this spring. Both Reps. Justin Jones, D-Nashville, and Justin Pearson, D-Memphis, were voted out by the House while Johnson narrowly missed being ousted by the body.
Johnson planned announcements in Knoxville, Nashville and Memphis on Tuesday and she was scheduled to be joined by Jones, Pearson and state Sen. Charlane Oliver, D-Nashville.
Johnson made her announcement Tuesday morning in front of Central High School, where she was a teacher in 2018 when 15-year-old student Ryan McDonald was shot and killed by another student in the school cafeteria.
“I heard a lot of screaming and I looked out my window and there were kids running down the hill toward by classroom, screaming with terror on their faces,” Johnson recalled.
Johnson said she believes that is still happening and nothing has been done to resolve the issues that caused the shooting.
“This is the something that I decided to do,” Johnson said.