Leaving to Come Back Sooner

Lobbying regulations are the likely cause of state Rep. Charles Curtiss' abrupt resignation in mid-term. The Sparta Democrat had not planned to run for re-election after the upcoming session of the Legislature and has been hired as executive director of the Tennessee County Commission Association.

But the rules say you have to wait a year to become a lobbyist if you leave the Legislature. By resigning now, Curtiss can begin lobbying in January of next year. If he had completed his term he would not have been able to lobby until 2016.

Curtiss is a conservative Democrat endorsed by Right to Life groups and business, but he expected a tough re-election campaign against a well-funded Republican. He won a narrow victory last time. He has been in the Legislature since 1994.