Paul Rose claims victory as Republican candidate in primary race for Senate seat

Democratic candidate Eric Coleman ran unopposed

Paul Rose claims victory as Republican candidate in primary race for Senate seat
Paul Rose and Eric Coleman (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The match-up for the March special election to fill former State Senator Mark Norris' District 32 seat is now set.

District 32 covers Eastern Shelby County and Tipton County.

Four Republican candidates were vying for a space on the ballot, and these unofficial results show Paul Rose easily claiming victory with 60 percent (6,398 votes).

George Chism tied Heidi Shafer with 14 percent of the vote at 1,530 and 1,520 respectively, and Steve McManus ended up with 10 percent at 1,157 votes.

Paul Rose claims victory as Republican candidate in primary race for Senate seat

Democrat and Navy vet Eric Coleman ran unopposed in the primary.

Republican Paul Rose, a Tipton County businessman, easily defeated three challengers from Shelby County.

WMC5 talked with both men about their respective victories and priorities.

“I’ve met a lot of people in Shelby County over the years, I worked for a lot of them, they helped feed my family, know a lot of folks in Shelby County, I’m just blown away at the way they turned out, came out,” Rose said. “Three other great candidates I’ve become friends with them didn’t expect to see turn out we got very, very, grateful, thank you Shelby County, thank you Tipton County.”

“I wanted a healthier Tennessee and that includes an expansion of Medicaid at all costs, I cannot understand the calculus that went into the decision to not except Medicaid as it was written at that time...led to a lot people losing healthcare,” Coleman said.

Coleman's top three priorities are healthcare, public safety, and dealing with the opioid crisis.

Rose said his top three goals are workforce development, public safety, and healthcare.

WMC Political Analyst Michael Nelson talks about Senate race

The general election is March 12. There’s a year and a half left on former Senator Norris' term.

Rose has already said if he wins the special election, he’s in this for the long haul.

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