Pair accused of buying votes in US Senate primary

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Federal authorities say two people, including an alleged 60-year-old pot dealer, are accused of buying votes in the 2014 U.S. Senate primary election.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reports ( ) that Betty Jane Best and Brian Keith Hodge were named in a 14-count federal indictment alleging a vote-buying conspiracy in Monroe County.

The indictment alleges that 13 people were paid to vote in the 2014 Senate primary. It doesn’t say who they were supposed to have voted for how or much they allegedly received for casting a ballot.

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and attorney Gordon Ball won those primary races. There’s no indication either was aware of the alleged scheme.

Best, also known as Betty Hawkins, has been indicted in Monroe County on charges of selling marijuana.

Phone messages left with their attorneys were not immediately returned.