MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Early voting has begun in a special election for the Tennessee House District 86 seat, which covers the western-most part of Shelby County.
The winner will fill the seat Rep. Barbara Ward Cooper held for decades. She died in October 2022 at age 93, just days before the midterm elections in November.
Cooper won the race in November for Tennessee House District 86. Her name remained on the ballot after her unexpected death Oct. 25, 2022, “as mandated by state law,” according to the Shelby County Election Commission. Governor Bill Lee issued a Writ of Election on Nov. 28, 2022, for the Tennessee House of Representatives District 86 Primary Special Election.
Early voting goes until Jan. 19th, and election day is Jan. 24, 2023. For more on candidates, locations, times, and a sample ballot, go to https://www.electionsshelbytn.gov/elections/district-86-special-election-primary-1242023.
Rep. Cooper served District 86 for 26 years after first being elected in 1996. She served on several state committees including the Health and Safety Committee and the Agricultural and Natural Resources Committee.
In April 2022, Cooper was honored in Nashville as the oldest-serving state legislator.