MEMPHIS, Tenn. — State representative Justin Pearson is getting kind of used to running for office, but that's what happens when you win, then get kicked out of office, then get reinstated — only to have to run one more time in a special election.
On Saturday, Pearson kicked off his latest campaign at Alonzo Weaver Park located in his state District 86. The district includes South Memphis.
Earlier this year, Pearson made national headlines when he and two other representatives protested for gun safety on the house floor. They became known as "the Tennessee Three."
Republicans voted to oust Pearson only for the county commission to reinstate him a short time later.
At his campaign kickoff event Pearson said gun reform remains a top issue, especially after a close friend was killed. That friend's mother was among those showing her support for Pearson.
"People like my son are, you know, out here doing a positive movement and are being killed innocently due to gun violence," Lavonda Henderson said.
Henderson's son Larry Thorn was an MSCS employee.
"You have people who are not proximate to our community making decisions for our community despite the fact that they know that the consequences of these laws have real implications for us," Pearson said.
Early voting in primary starts May 26. Pearson is facing one other Democrat, David Page, in the primary. The primary is June 15. The special general election is Aug. 3.