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    First Quarter Filing Press Release

    April 02, 2018
    Contact: Sarah Beth Larson

    Political newcomer raises nearly $40,000 in first quarter for Tennessee Senate District 31 campaign

    Chaplain David Weatherspoon gets backing of local philanthropists

    Local children’s hospital chaplain David Weatherspoon has formally filed his petition to run on the Democratic ticket for the Tennessee Senate’s District 31. Weatherspoon filed with the Shelby County Election Commission on April 2. The filing will allow him to run as a Democratic contender for the seat currently held by two-time Republican incumbent Sen. Brian Kelsey.

    Weatherspoon, a chaplain at Methodist Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, says his experience as a chaplain – interacting daily with people across racial, gender, political and religious lines – has given him a strong insight into the needs of the district, which covers Cordova, Germantown and East Memphis.

    “I have discerned that people want a safe home, a good education for their children, access to affordable and quality healthcare, good-paying jobs and a neighborhood that makes for a healthy community,” Weatherspoon said. “These are the values that I believe are central to our district, and I believe the voters in this district want someone who will work to see these values become a reality.”

    Weatherspoon’s fundraising success so far seems to confirm this assessment, with the candidate pulling in more than $40,000 in the first quarter from over 275 individual donors. The Tennessee native also collected 75 signatures on his petition – three times the requirement.

    Weatherspoon, a chaplain at Methodist Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, has made health care one of his focal points of his campaign, and has secured the backing of some prominent local names in health care.

    Local philanthropist Spence Wilson, namesake of the pediatric emergency pavilion at Baptist Memorial Hospital Memphis, has contributed $1,500 to Weatherspoon’s campaign.

    Gary Shorb, former chief executive officer of Methodist Healthcare and current head of the Urban Child Institute, has agreed to serve on Weatherspoon’s fundraising committee.

    Shorb said he believes Weatherspoon, like former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen, who is running for the state’s open U.S. Senate seat, is interested in “working across the aisle to do what is right for Tennessee and its future.”

    With the filing done, Weatherspoon now turns his attention to a grassroots campaign for the Democratic primary, which will be held Aug. 2. Growing up on a farm near Bucksnort, Tennessee, Weatherspoon learned the values of hard work, honesty, and compassion for others.

    Weatherspoon was educated at Belmont University and then McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta and has served as a chaplain for 15 years. He and his wife, Dr. Sarah Weatherspoon, were recruited to Le Bonheur where they have continued their lives of serving the needs of people in the Shelby County community.


    For more information on Weatherspoon and his campaign, visit or


    Brief interview with David Weatherspoon on March 12, 2018


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    Media inquiries contact Sarah Beth Larson, 500-6769 or e-mail

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