On February 18, the Tennessee Senate State and Local Government Committee held a hearing on SB 1091, a bill to lower the number of signatures for statewide minor party candidates from 40,042 signatures (2.5% of the last gubernatorial vote) to exactly 1,000 signatures. Daniel Lewis of the Libertarian Party and Jerry Pangle of the Constitution Party spoke in favor of the bill, as did the sponsor, Senator Jim Kyle (D-Memphis). SB 1091 was introduced last year; Tennessee has two-year legislative sessions.
Committee members hinted they might pass this bill if the number of signatures was increased from 1,000 signatures to 2,500 signatures. The author will prepare an amendment to make that change, and the bill will then be heard again, on February 25. Thanks to Daniel Lewis and Mike Warner for this news.