||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (May 2011)|
|Member of the Tennessee Senate
from the 15th district
|Preceded by||Tommy Burks|
October 2, 1942 |
|Spouse(s)||widowed - Tommy Burks|
|Religion||Church of Christ|
Burks was born in 1942 in Gainesboro, Tennessee and lives in Monterey, Tennessee. She was married to Tommy Burks, a Tennessee State Senator. In 1998, after her husband was assassinated during an election campaign by his Republican challenger Byron Looper, she became a write-in candidate for his seat. Although she did not campaign, she defeated Looper by a landslide margin, receiving 95% of the vote and becoming the first write-in candidate to win a seat in the Tennessee State Senate. She began her Senate service with the 101st General Assembly.
She was reelected in 2002 and 2006 with no substantive opposition. In 2010, when Republicans picked up many seats in the General Assembly, Burks won re-election to a fourth four-year term by a margin of just 183 votes over her Republican opponent, Gary Steakley. Burks carried five of the six counties in the largely rural district, losing only in Cumberland County. An independent candidate placed third in the vote. Steakley challenged the results, claiming irregularities on election day, but a State Senate committee found that there was insufficient evidence to question the outcome.
In the Senate, Burks has served as the secretary of the education committee; as a member of the joint study economic development; government operations; select on children and youth; and the environment, conservation, and tourism committees.
Her voting record has largely been a carbon copy of that of her husband, one of the more conservative Democrats in the state legislature.
- Senator Charlotte Burks - District 15, Tennessee General Assembly website, accessed May 15, 2011
- Mary Jo Denton, Burks re-elected to senate seat, Herald-Citizen (Cookeville, Tennessee), November 2010. Accessed May 15, 2011.
- Associated Press, Widow wins Tenn. Senate seat over man charged with killing her husband, November 4, 1998
- Chas Sisk Committee upholds Charlotte Burks’ re-election, In Session section of The Tennessean website, April 28, 2011
- Liz Engel Clark, Election contest bends in Burks' favor, Herald Citizen (Cookeville, Tennessee), May 1, 2011
- Senator Charlotte Burks - District 15 official State Senate website
- Senator Charlotte Burks official campaign website
- Project Vote Smart - Charlotte Burks (TN) profile
- Follow the Money - Charlotte Burks
|Member from the 15th district