Jones outpaces Alexander thus far in fundraising, spending in state House GOP primary  

Published 2:19 pm Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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By Buzz Trexler

Star Correspondent

A review of Tennessee Election Commission Campaign Finance reports filed as of Friday shows Renea Jones outpacing Curt Alexander in fundraising and spending in the Republican Primary race to fill state Rep. John B. Holsclaw Jr.’s 4th District seat.

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Jones, president of Jones and Church Farms in Unicoi, reports raising nearly $74,000 in individual and political action committee contributions toward her primary race through the second quarter, while Alexander reports having raised $3,050, including a $2,000 contribution from Nash PAC, a political action committee in Bristol.

Since no candidate filed for the Democratic Primary in the Tennessee House District 4 race to represent Unicoi County and part of Carter County, voters in the Republican Primary will effectively decide the seat. 

Holsclaw, who has served in the House since 2015, ran in the March 5 Republican Primary race for Carter County assessor of property, losing to Shane Simerly who is the sole candidate for that position in the Aug. 1 General Election.

Among donors to Jones’ primary campaign are state Sen. Rusty Crowe (R-Johnson City), who gave $1,000, and U.S. Rep. John Rose (R-Tenn.), the 6th District congressman from Hickman, who contributed $1,000. Jones also gained the financial support of former state Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey, of Blountville, who donated $1,000, and former U.S. Sen. Phil Roe, who gave $1,800.  

Among the political action committees contributing to her campaign are the Lamberth PAC, formed by House Majority Leader William Lamberth (R-Portland), which contributed $2,500, and the National Federation of Independent Business Tennessee PAC, which gave $1,000.

Jones’ finance campaign reports show others who gave the maximum allowable individual contribution of $1,800 for state House campaigns include:


  • Laura Rogers, of Johnson City, marketing professional for the Town of Unicoi;
  • Dalton Shell, of Roan Mountain, an attorney with Brandt and Robbins, P.C., Johnson City
  • Joseph Snyder, of Erwin, a pharmacist with Clinchfield Drug Co., Erwin;
  • Mike Whitehead, of Elizabethton, president of WCI Custom Builders, Elizabethton;
  • Edward Chase, of Jonesborough, assistant general manager at Watauga Lakeshore Resort and Marina, Hampton;
  • William Forbes, of Unicoi, retired entrepreneur;
  • Clarinda Jeanes, of Jonesborough, retired educator;
  • Sue Jones, of Unicoi, co-owner of Jones and Church Farms, Unicoi;
  • Danny Moore, of Unicoi, veterinarian;
  • Dalton Mullins, of Johnson City, Ballad Health medical technologist;
  • Holly Rogers, of Erwin, a Unicoi County Schools agriculture teacher;
  • Nick Rogers, of Erwin, vice president of packing and shipping operations at Jones and Church Farms, Unicoi; and
  • Caralyn Snyder, of Erwin, a pharmacist at Clinchfield Drug Co., Erwin;

In addition to Crowe, Ramsey, and Rose, other contributors who gave between $1,000 and the maximum allowable individual contribution of $1,800 include:

  • CSE Construction and Development, of Jonesborough, $1,000;
  • Daniel Eldridge, of Johnson City, owner of The Kitchen at Grace Meadows Farm, Jonesborough, $1,000;
  • Roy Harmon, of Kingsport, retired Bank of Tennessee CEO, $1,000 (two donations of $500);
  • R. George Heaton, of Johnson City, retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, $1,000;
  • Clarence Mabe, of Johnson City, founder of Face Amusement Group, $1,000;
  • Nancy Murphy, of Johnson City, farmer, $1,000;
  • Sindy Ramsey, of Blountville, co-owner of Ron Ramsey and Associates, $1,000;
  • Chandrea Shell, of Roan Mountain, retired higher education administrator, $1,650;
  • Ronda Simpson, of Erwin, a dental hygienist at Johnson City Pediatric Dentistry, Johnson City, $1,000;
  • Steve Southerland, of Morristown, $1,000;
  • Tony Treadway, of Johnson City, owner of Creative Energy, Johnson City, $1,000;
  • Zane Vandover, of Kingsport, farmer, $1,000;
  • Wolfe Development, of Jonesborough, $1,000;
  • Tommy Woods, of Piney Flats, owner of Acorn Electrical Specialists, Piney Flats, $1,200; and
  • David Wyant, of Piney Flats, owner of Wyant Land Building and Development Co., $1,500.

Jones also made personal loans to the campaign totaling $45,000 and received one in-kind donation of $600 from Michael Baker who paid for City Market catering a campaign announcement. Alexander made personal loans totaling $25,000.

Jones has spent $53,206.08 through the second quarter, while Alexander reports spending $13,091.54.

Early voting in the Aug. 1 state and federal primaries and Carter County General Election begins Friday and continues through Saturday, July 27. The Carter County Election Commission, 116 Holston Ave., is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday. 

The deadline for absentee ballot requests is Thursday, July 25.

Polls are open on Aug. 1 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.