Sontany, the four-term Democratic incumbent who represents parts of southeastern Davidson County, is perhaps best-known for her admirable legislative stands against animal cruelty. She helped pass the Commercial Breeder Act of 2009, which regulates large-animal breeders, and she has attempted to criminalize animal abuse in all forms — though that effort has been thwarted by, most notably, the substantial lobbying efforts of the Farm Bureau.
Sontany said implementation of the Race to the Top funds and the Complete College Tennessee Act, the two pieces of legislation considered during this year’s special session, are atop her priority list for her fifth term in the House. Recently she has supported the Small Business Opportunity Act, which would encourage private investment in the state, as well as tougher sentencing laws for violent criminals. She also supported the Long Term Care Community Choices Act, a comprehensive effort to reform long-term care under the TennCare program, in 2008.
Sontany is a known quantity at the capital, and her steadfast leadership on animal-cruelty issues has been an impressive show of character. Her opponents, tea-party-style Republican Tonya Miller and independent Daniel T. Lewis, have run low-visibility campaigns and lack anything near the record of Sontany.