Human Rights Campaign Endorses Tennessee State Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson in Special Elections

by HRC Staff

Nashville, Tennessee – Today, the Human Rights Campaign PAC (HRC PAC) announced its endorsements of State Representatives Justin Jones (District 52) and Justin Pearson (District 86) in their upcoming special elections on August 3rd.

Earlier this year, extremist lawmakers in the Tennessee House of Representatives abused their legislative powers to expel Reps. Jones and Pearson for protesting gun violence on the House Floor. Their protests followed a mass shooting in Nashville and calls for meaningful action by legislators. The same Tennessee lawmakers who expelled Reps. Jones and Pearson and are refusing to take action on gun violence have instead chosen to focus much of their time and energy on advancing anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. Since 2015, Tennessee has enacted 19 anti-LGBTQ+ laws, more than any other state.

Rep. Gloria Johnson protested alongside Reps. Jones and Pearson, and when later asked why she was not expelled, she stated “Well, I think it’s pretty clear. I’m a 60-year-old white woman, and they are two young Black men.”

The Human Rights Campaign is proud to endorse Representatives Justin Jones and Justin Pearson. Both were lawfully elected, yet extremist politicians tried to override our democratic processes simply because Jones and Pearson are young, progressive, Black men. Their decision to not expel Rep. Gloria Jones could not make the discrimination any clearer. Both Jones and Pearson were advocating for their constituents when no one else in the legislature would, yet extremist politicians saw this as a threat to the status quo. Their expulsions were a stain on Tennessee’s democracy, but their reelection will be proof that the people of Tennessee will not be silenced.”

Kelley Robinson, Human Rights Campaign President

Rep. Jones has a history of activism and was a community leader on issues of race and police violence before becoming a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. He is a staunch advocate for gun control, and is proudly pro-equality and pro-choice.

A native of Memphis, Rep. Pearson has been a consistent activist on issues of racial justice, and is pro-equality and pro-choice. Reps. Jones and Pearson voted against every anti-LGBTQ+ bill in Tennessee last session.

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (, Jim Rinefierd - Treasurer) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Not authorized by any federal candidate or candidate’s committee.

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