Expelled Tennessee Democrat lawmakers win back seats after Covenant School shooting protests

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Two Democrat lawmakers from Tennessee who were expelled after protesting on the state House floor in favor of stricter gun control have won back their seats.

Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, both Democrats, who were part of the so-called “Tennessee Three,” defeated Republicans in their special elections on Thursday.

Their participation in a protest on the state House floor following The Covenant School shooting on March 27 resulted in rebuke from GOP state lawmakers, who voted to expel Jones and Pearson.

The White House previously called the expulsion an “undemocratic” effort to “punish, silence, and expel duly elected representatives.” 

TENNESSEE LAWMAKERS EXPELLED IN WAKE OF NASHVILLE SCHOOL SHOOTING VIE TO RECLAIM SEATS

Tennessee lawmakers

Rep. Justin Pearson, Rep. Justin Jones, Rep. Gloria Johnson People hold their hands up as they exit the House Chamber doors at Tennessee State Capitol Building in Nashville, Tenn., Monday, April 3, 2023. (Nicole Hester /The Tennessean via AP)

The district that Jones and Pearson will represent is heavily Democratic.

Jones, Pearson, and Rep. Gloria Johnson, participated in a protest in the Capitol building to demand that Republicans pass more stringent restrictions on guns.

RAMASWAMY DEMANDS TENNESSEE GOVERNOR, FBI RELEASE NASHVILLE SCHOOL SHOOTER’S MANIFESTO: ‘SPEAK THE TRUTH’ 

Tennessee Three outside White House

WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 24: (L-R) Tennessee state Rep. Justin Jones, state Rep. Gloria Johnson, and state Rep. Justin Pearson  speak with members of the press after meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden in the Oval Office April 24, 2023 in Washington, DC. Biden met with the three state representatives known as the “Tennessee Three” to discuss ongoing efforts to ban assault weapons.   (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

House Republicans said that their actions were in violation of House rules, and voted to expel Jones and Pearson. Johnson was not expelled.

Police in Nashville say that Audrey Hale, the suspect and former student at the private Christian school, entered the building by shooting through a locked glass door around 10:13 a.m. on March 27. Hale was armed with two rifles and a handgun. 

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Memorials for the six victims who were killed in a mass shooting are placed outside of The Covenant School

Memorials for the six victims who were killed in a mass shooting are placed outside of The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday, March 30, 2023. On Monday, three adults and three children were killed inside the school. (KR/Mega for Fox News Digital)

Three school employees were killed: Head of School Katherine Koonce, 60; substitute teacher Cynthia Peak, 61; and custodian Mike Hill, 61. Three students were also killed, all 9-years-old: Hallie Scruggs, Evelyn Dieckhaus and William Kinney.

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 



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Caleb Alexander

Caleb Alexander

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