Janice Bowling

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Janice Bowling
Member of the Tennessee Senate
from the 16th district
Assumed office
Preceded byEric Stewart
Personal details
Born (1947-04-01) April 1, 1947 (age 71)
Selma, Alabama
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Colonel Temple Bowling, IV (USAF Retired)
ChildrenTemple, V; Elizabeth; Jonathan
ResidenceCoffee County, Tennessee
Alma materAuburn University
Congressional Staffer

Janice Bowling is an American politician in Tennessee and the Senator for Tennessee's 16th State Senate District. Bowling is a Republican. Bowling has been a public official and community activist in her home town of Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Early life and political career[edit]

Born on April 1, 1947 in Selma, Alabama, she was a teacher in the public school system before marrying her husband, who was then in the U.S. Air Force. After being stationed at the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the family moved to Tullahoma, Tennessee. Janice Bowling was a homemaker at first, and became interested in public and community issues, volunteering in many organizations. In 1992, this led to her being elected to the Tullahoma City Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Issues of economic development and safety were her initial focus, but she developed a broader range. In 1994, conservative Republican Van Hilleary, whom Bowling strongly supported, was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and in 1995, he appointed Bowling to be his District Director. In that capacity, she dealt with a great deal of constituent and community concerns. Bowling remained in that position until 2000.

Municipal politics[edit]

Bowling was elected to the Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Aldermen first in 1992 and re-elected several times serving until 2008, for a total of 16 years of services as Alderman. She served as Vice-Mayor, a position elected by the Aldermen among themselves, from 2007 until she left the Board. Bowling has twice run, unsuccessfully, for Mayor of Tullahoma.

2002 & 2004 Congressional campaigns[edit]

In 2002, when Rep. Hilleary announced he would run for Governor and not seek re-election to Congress, Bowling ran to replace her former boss as Representative of the 4th Congressional District in Tennessee. Bowling entered a six way primary race, eventually winning with 37% of the vote. In the general election, she faced State Senator Lincoln Davis. Despite being a conservative and Republican-leaning district, Bowling lost to the Democrat Lincoln Davis by over 10,000 votes.

Bowling tried again in 2004, but again was unable to defeat Davis, losing by a margin of 55% to 43%.

2012 State Senate campaign[edit]

In early 2011 Bowling announced her intentions to seek the Republican Nomination for State Senate District 14 for a chance to face Democrat Eric Stewart in the general election. Shortly after her announcement, it was revealed that the district was being redrawn and renumbered as District 16. The newly constituted district included Coffee, Franklin, Grundy, Marion, Sequatchie, Van Buren and Warren, with only Bledsoe having been removed from the district. Shortly thereafter, Stewart announced his intentions to run for Congress in District 4 and abandoned his re-election bid to the Senate.

Stewart's announcement led to a flood of candidates seeking both the Republican and Democratic nominations for the seat. On August 2, 2012, Bowling easily won the Republican Primary garnering 8,159 votes. Second place went to Ron Stoltzfus with 2,278, Eric Chance with 2,277 finished third and Rod McClellan earned 866 votes. Former State Senator Jim Lewis won the crowded Democratic primary.

In the November 7, 2012, general election, Bowling defeated former State Senator Jim Lewis who had held the seat in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The final vote tally was 40,109 for Bowling (62.95%) and 23,608 (37.05%) for Lewis. The win was a pickup for Republicans in the State Senate and was historical in that the seat had not been held by a Republican since reconstruction. Bowling is also the first woman to ever represent the district in the State Senate. In keeping with the Tennessee Constitution, Bowling took office at midnight on the day of her election.


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