Democratic nominee and State Senator Tommy Burks was murdered on October 19, 1998, and his Republican opponent, Byron (Low Tax) Looper was the primary suspect.
According to Tennessee law, a candidate who dies within 30 days of an election is removed from the ballot and the party may not name a replacement candidate. This left Looper unopposed for the general election.
Burks' widow, Charlotte, ran a write-in campaign with the help of Democrats and Republicans and won this seat with over 90% of the vote.
In 2000, Looper was convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.