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Rep. Justin Pearson was reappointed to the Tennessee House of Representatives Wednesday after being expelled last week for joining a gun reform protest on the House floor.
The Shelby County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Wednesday to send Rep. Pearson back to the Tennessee House after he was expelled last week by House Republicans.
Rep. Pearson was one of the “Tennessee Three” that joined in a gun reform protest at the State Capitol following the March 27 shooting at Covenant Presbyterian that left three children, three adults, and the gunman dead.
“You can’t expel hope. Let’s get back to work,” Pearson said in front of the Shelby County Board of Commissioners.
The Tennessee Three: Rep. Justin Pearson returning to the state House
Rep. Pearson, Rep. Justin Jones, and Rep. Gloria Johnson took over the well on the House floor as thousands of students filled the state capitol building in Nashville joining students in calling for gun reform.
Rep. Justin Pearson and Rep. Jones were expelled by Republican leadership from the Tennessee House while their White counterpart, Rep. Gloria Johnson, survived an expulsion vote.
“I think it’s pretty clear. I’m a 60-year-old White woman, and they’re two young Black men,” Rep. Johnson told CNN as to why she thinks she was not also expelled.
On Monday, Rep. Jones was reappointed by the Nashville Metropolitan Council by a vote of 36-0 to the Tennessee House on an interim basis.
Rep. Jones told CNN Monday night that since he is technically a new member, he can file up to 15 bills. He said each of his bills will have to do with gun reform because “that’s what those young people are begging us to do.”
Both appointments are on an interim basis with a special election for the seats taking place in the upcoming months. Rep. Justin Pearson and Rep. Justin Jones have both said they plan to run in the special elections.