In the contested Republican primary for state House District 83, Mark White defeated John Pellicciotti by an unofficial margin of 1,857 votes to Pellicciotti's 1556 votes. with Michael Porter trailing in the 4 percent range.
Kelsey and his supporters claimed victory, with Kelsey making this statement:
"I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the people in the state Senate. I’m grateful for every single person who took the time to go vote for me. I think people responded to our message of fiscal responsibility.”
State senator-elect Kelsey congratulated opponent Pakis-Gillon for her effort with these words:
"She was very gracious in conceding the race. I appreciate the opportunity to get to run against her."
Republic state chairman Chris Devaney in Nashville has this to say:
"Brian has already demonstrated his ability to effectively lead and legislate on behalf of his constituents," said Devaney. "During his time in the State House, Brian was a leader in the fight for ethics reform and worked tirelessly to protect taxpayers' dollars.
"Brian's experience in the State House will serve him well as he takes on this new role of public service in the State Senate. I'd like to congratulate him on tonight's election results and I look forward to seeing him continue his service for the state of Tennessee."
Pakis-Gillon meanwhile conceded defeat. She released this statement:
"I ran this race for all the people of this wonderful district, and for the people of the great state of Tennessee, to make sure they had a chance to have their voice heard. The people have chosen a different voice, and I wish Senator-Elect Kelsey the best for his year in Nashville.
"All of us will stay involved in the quest to better the community we love. The neighbors that I have talked to throughout the district want the focus to stay on the community, building jobs and a better place for all of us to live and raise our families. I am hopeful and optimistic that newly elected Senator Kelsey will do just that. This district is becoming more diverse, as are the needs of the citizens of the district.
"I am extremely proud of the campaign we have run. The volunteers who have given their time these past couple of months have given me and the people of District 31 an invaluable gift. They have shown determination, caring, and a desire to continually improve the community in which they live. For that I want to thank all of them and all of my supporters. We came up short today, and it's tough to take. But I assure you that we will stay active and we will stay involved. Thank you all."
White's victory in the District 83 Republican primary means that he will match up in a January 12th general election with Democrat Guthrie Castle, who was unopposed in his primary, and independent John Andreucetti.