|Wilson’s Zelenik to challenge Black for Congress’ 6th District seat|
|Tuesday, April 3, 2012|
By PATRICK HALL
Lou Ann Zelenik plans to challenge first-term incumbent Diane Black, R-Gallatin, for the U.S. 6th District House of Representatives seat after pulling a petition in Wilson County on Tuesday just days before the April 5 deadline.
Zelenik, who narrowly lost to Black in the August 2010 Republican primary, picked up a petition at the Wilson County Election Commission office in Lebanon on Tuesday morning.The filing deadline for candidates to enter their names on the Aug. 2 County General and State Primary election is noon, Thursday, April 5.
Zelenik told The Gallatin News on Monday that she is planning to run, but a formal announcement will come at a later date.
“I intend to run and I intend to win. I wouldn’t be in this if I didn’t intend to win,” Zelenik told The Gallatin News.
Black and Zelenik were in a bitter competition with one another in 2010, with Black and her husband David filing a lawsuit against Zelenik.
The lawsuit accused Zelenik of defamation allegedly originating from one of her campaign advertisements attacking Black. On March 21, a judge granted Zelenik a summary judgment, however Black is appealing the decision.
Wilson County Administrator of Elections Phillip Warren said Zelenik will not file her petition at the Wilson Election Commission office, but instead at the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office.
However, he said Zelenik could either pick up her petition in Wilson County or from the State. Warren said she picked it up at the local office on Tuesday.
“She picked it up here because she moved to Wilson County and she wanted to keep it local,” Warren said.
When Zelenik ran in 2010, she lived in Rutherford County. Recent changes to Tennessee Congressional districts now have Rutherford County as part of the 4th Congressional District.
District 57 State Rep. Linda Elam, R-Mt. Juliet, filed her petition for election on Tuesday afternoon, while no challengers have yet to pull petitions to challenge her or District 46 State Rep. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon.
Also, two candidates for the at-large seat of the Lebanon Special School District Board of Education have picked up their petitions, including Steve Jones, current chairman of the Board of Education.
Johnie Payton has also picked up her petition for the at-large seat on the LSSD school board, but has yet to file with the Election Commission.