Democrat Bob Clement Wins Election To Congress
Jan. 20, 1988
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) _ Democrat Bob Clement has been elected to the vacant 5th District congressional seat, realizing the goal that eluded his father, a former governor.
Returns from all 183 precincts in the two-county district gave Clement 56,094 votes, or 62 percent, in Tuesday's special election to 32,747, or 36 percent, for Republican Terry Holcomb.
The 90,126 voters represented about 40 percent of those registered who sloshed to the polls through heavy rain to fill a seat left vacant when Bill Boner, who held the seat for nine years, was elected mayor of Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County in October.
Clement has urged Davidson and Robertson County election commissions to rush the official returns to the state Election Commission by the end of this week, so Clement can be sworn in when the House reconvenes Jan. 25. If the deadline is not met, state officials said, Clement's election cannot be certified until early February.
The district includes Andrew Jackson's ancestral home and Clement pledged to ''live up to the tradition that is the Andrew Jackson district.'' He quoted the 19th-century military hero and president as saying, ''One man with courage is a majority.''
Clement, 44, who once served on the three-member board of the Tennessee Valley Authority, is the son of the late Frank Clement and grew up in the Executive Residence in Nashville during the 10 years between 1953 and 1967 that his father was governor.
Clement has lost bids for the Democratic nomination for governor and 7th District congressman. He resigned as president of Cumberland University for the 5th District race, defeating three other serious Democratic contenders in November's primary. Holcomb was unopposed in the GOP primary.
His victory sends him to Washington, an ambition his father harbored but never realized when, in 1966, Frank Clement was defeated by Republican Howard Baker in a Senate race.
Running far behind, each with 1 percent of the vote, were two independent candidates: Suzanne Stewart, a registered nurse who advocates a $4-per-pack tax on cigarettes, with 685 votes; and Joe Driscoll, a real estate agent who opposes expansion of the Metropolitan airport on behalf of residents concerned about the added noise, with 600 votes.