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Top Democrat In Tennessee House Was Sick With COVID-19 At Start Of Special Session


The House Minority Leader in the Tennessee General Assembly was feeling ill at the start of last week’s special session. Rep. Karen Camper, D-Memphis, attended a few socially-distanced meetings and was on the floor of the state House Monday night, according to a spokesperson.

That night, she got tested for COVID-19 and headed home to Memphis where she isolated as a precaution. The test was negative, but she did not return.

“It was subsequently determined that she had contracted the virus,” Democratic spokesperson Ken Jobe says.

Camper has contacted the director of legislative administration to share the results.

Several other lawmakers have either tested positive or isolated because of contact. Rep. Mike Carter, R-Ooltewah, is still hospitalized in Chattanooga with COVID-19, though he did not attend the special session. And former House Speaker Glen Casada, R-Franklin, was excused from the special session because of quarantining, though he wouldn’t say if he tested positive.

Blake Farmer is WPLN's assistant news director, but he wears many hats - reporter, editor and host. He covers the Tennessee state capitol while also keeping an eye on Fort Campbell and business trends, frequently contributing to national programs. Born in Tennessee and educated in Texas, Blake has called Nashville home for most of his life.
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