Local officials in Nashville voted unanimously Monday to reinstate ousted Tennessee State Representative Justin Jones back into office, reported NPR.
The Republican supermajority last week voted to bounce him from his house seat after he and two others House members joined a gun control protest on the House floor.
Jones, who is Filipino and Black, joined State Rep Justin Pearson, who is Black, for the protest along with Rep Gloria Johnson, a White woman. Pearson also lost his seat, but Johnson, who is White, retained her seat by one vote.
“I want to welcome democracy back to the people’s house,” Jones said after being sworn in, according to NBC. “I want to thank you all, not for what you did, but for awakening the people of this state, particularly the young people. Thank you for reminding us that the struggle for justice is fought and won in every generation.”
Among those from the Nashville Metro Council to vote to reinstate Jones was Councilwoman Delishia Porterfield who ran against Jones in the House race, but lost.
“He is duly elected by the community, we have to uphold their wishes, and I 100% believe our body will vote to put my representative back in office,” she said to WTVF.
A vote to reinstate Pearson is expected Wednesday. However, even if they both get reinstated, the victory could be shortlived.
CBS reports that Republican Gov Bill Lee could still call a special election to force both to run for reelection before their term expires. The controversy has caught the attention of the White House.
Vice President Kamala Harris paid a visit to Tennessee to support Pearson, Jones and Johnson.
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