KINGSPORT — Having Tennessee’s U.S. senators nominated by state lawmakers instead of primary voters “would get us back to what the founding fathers wanted,” state Sen. Frank Niceley told a Kingsport Kiwanis Club luncheon Friday.
Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, introduced legislation in the last General Assembly to have legislative members from each political party select U.S. Senate candidates to be placed on the November general election ballot.
His bill stalled last spring but has been reset to be considered for a possible Senate floor vote next March. The House companion legislation was taken off notice, but it could be revived.
The U.S. Constitution originally called for U.S. senators to be chosen by state legislatures, but the 17th Amendment ratified in 1913 gave election power to the people.
“It’s been downhill ever since,” Niceley said of the U.S. Senate selection process.Read more in Saturday’s print edition of the Times-News or in the expanded electronic edition.