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TN 2014 General Election: Contested State Legislative Races

The Capitol is certain to get a noticeable infusion of new blood this election cycle, particularly in the Senate, where 7 seats are open going into November

Regardless of who wins and loses in November, a conspicuous number of new faces are going to be showing up in the state Legislature in 2015.

The turnover will be particularly evident in the Senate, where incumbent retirements and primary defeats ensure that at least seven districts will get a representation reboot.

Seven state Senate elections are contested in this year’s general election. Elections are held for all 99 House of Representatives seats in even-numbered years. In the House and Senate combined, 51 district elections across the state will have the names of at least two candidates appearing on the ballot.

The only Senate incumbent facing general election competition is Nashville Democrat Thelma Harper, a 26-year veteran of the upper chamber, who’s being challenged by Republican Sterlina Inez Brady. Of the contested seats formerly represented by Senate lawmakers who won’t be around next year, four were held by Democrats and two by Republicans.

A fifth Senate Democrat, Minority Leader Jim Kyle of Memphis, won a judgeship in Shelby County on Aug. 7 and won’t be returning in 2015 either. He wasn’t up for re-election this year, but voters in November will choose his successor as well.

Forty-four House races across Tennessee are contested. In seven of those, the incumbent was either defeated in the August primary or has decided against running again.

Of the 20 incumbent Republicans and six sitting Democratic members of the Legislature who faced challenges in the August primary, eight lost.

In the Senate, the primary election losers were Republicans Sens. Stacey Campfield of Knoxville and Jim Summerville of Dickson and Democrat Ophelia Ford, D-Memphis. In the House, five lawmakers failed to fend off challenges from within their party — four Republicans and one Democrat: Gary Odom, D-Nashville; Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport: Steve Hall, R-Knoxville; Dennis “Coach” Roach R-Rutledge and Vance Dennis, R-Savannah.

Retiring incumbent lawmakers who are not seeking re-election this year include Lowe Finney of Jackson, Douglas Henry of Nashville and Charlotte Burks of Cookeville. Republican Sen. Jim Tracy ran in the primary to unseat U.S. Rep. Scott Desjarlais, although as of this posting that race was undecided. In the House, eight lawmakers stepped down — six Republicans and one Democrat, as well as former House Speaker Kent Williams of Elizabethton, an independent.

Tennessee Senate

District 7

  • Republican: Richard Briggs, Knoxville
  • Democrat: Cheri Siler, Knoxville

District 15 (No incumbent — Charlotte Burks, D-Monterey, retiring)

  • Republican: State Rep. Paul Bailey, Sparta
  • Democrat: Betty Vaudt, Cookeville
  • Independent: William L. Draper, Gainesboro

District 19

  • Republican: Sterlina Inez Brady, Nashville
  • Democrat (Incumbent): Thelma M. Harper, Whites Creek

District 21 (No incumbent — Douglas Henry, D-Nashville, retiring)

  • Republican: Diana Cuellar, Nashville
  • Democrat: Jeff Yarbro, Nashville

District 25

  • Republican: Kerry Roberts (former state senator), Springfield
  • Democrat: Tony Gross, Kingston Springs

District 27 (No incumbent — Lowe Finney, D-Jackson, retiring)

  • Republican: Ed Jackson, Jackson
  • Democrat: Randy Lamb, Jackson
  • Constitution: Tim York, Jackson
  • Independent: James A. Baxter, Jackson

District 29

  • Republican: James R. “Jim” Finney, Memphis
  • Democrat: Lee Harris, Memphis


Tennessee House of Representatives

District 2

  • Republican: Bud Hulsey, Kingsport
  • Libertarian: J.R. Enfield, Kingsport

District 4 (No Incumbent — Kent Williams, I-Elizabethton, retiring) 

  • Republican: John B. Holsclaw, Jr., Johnson City
  • Democrat: Rob Martin, Erwin

District 5

  • Republican (Incumbent): David B. Hawk, Greeneville
  • Independent: Kermit E. Steck, Greeneville

District 11

  • Republican (Incumbent): Jeremy Faison, Newport
  • Democrat: Marjorie J. Ramsey, Newport
  • Independent: Roland A. Dykes III, Newport

District 13 

  • Republican: Eddie Smith, Knoxville
  • Democrat (Incumbent): Gloria Johnson, Knoxville

District 15

  • Democrat (Incumbent): Joseph “Joe” Armstrong, Knoxville
  • Independent: Pete Drew, Knoxville

District 20

  • Republican (Incumbent): Bob Ramsey, Maryville
  • Democrat: John Ross Conley, Friendsville

District 21

  • Republican (Incumbent): Jimmy Matlock, Lenoir City
  • Democrat: Pamela O. Weston, Sweetwater

District 25

  • Republican (Incumbent): Cameron Sexton, Crossville
  • Democrat: Judy Barnett, Crossville

District 27 (No incumbent — Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, retiring)

  • Republican: Patsy Hazlewood, Signal Mountain
  • Democrat: Eric Mcroy, Chattanooga

District 32

  • Republican (Incumbent): Kent Calfee, Kingston
  • Democrat: Joe Kneiser, Harriman

District 33

  • Republican (Incumbent): John D. Ragan, Oak Ridge
  • Democrat: Misty Neergaard, Oak Ridge

District 36

  • Republican (Incumbent): Dennis Powers, Jacksboro
  • Democrat: James Virgil Kidwell, Lafollette

District 39

  • Republican (Incumbent): David Alexander, Winchester
  • Democrat: Matthew Huffer, Normandy

District 40

  • Republican (Incumbent): Terri Lynn Weaver, Lancaster
  • Democrat: Sarah Marie Smith, Carthage

District 42

  • Republican (Incumbent): Ryan Williams, Cookeville
  • Democrat: Michael R. Walsh, Cookeville

District 43 (No incumbent — Paul Bailey, R-Sparta, running for state Senate Dist. 17)

  • Republican: Robert F. Dunham, Sparta
  • Democrat: Kevin Dunlap, Rock Island
  • Independent: Edward Leon Buck, Sparta

District 45

  • Republican (Incumbent): Courtney Rogers, Goodlettsville
  • Democrat: Steven D. Puckett Jr., Hendersonville

District 46

  • Republican (Incumbent): Mark Pody, Lebanon
  • Democrat: Candace Reed, Lebanon

District 48 (No incumbent — Joe Carr, R-Lascassas, running for U.S. Senate)

  • Republican: Bryan Terry, Murfreesboro
  • Democrat: William Bill Campbell, Murfreesboro

District 49

  • Republican (Incumbent): Mike Sparks, Smyrna
  • Democrat: Mike Williams, Smyrna

District 50

  • Republican: Troy Brewer, Nashville
  • Democrat (Incumbent): Bo Mitchell, Nashville

District 51 (No incumbent — Mike Turner, D-Old Hickory, retiring)

  • Republican: Brian L. Mason, Nashville
  • Democrat: Bill Beck, Nashville

District 53

  • Republican: John Wang, Nashville
  • Democrat (Incumbent): Jason Powell, Nashville

District 56

  • Republican (Incumbent): Beth Harwell, Nashville
  • Democrat: Chris Moth, Green Hills

District 57

  • Republican (Incumbent): Susan Lynn, Mt. Juliet
  • Democrat: Jesse McLevain, Mt. Juliet

District 60

  • Republican: Jim Gotto, Hermitage, former state representative
  • Democrat (Incumbent): Darren Jernigan, Old Hickory

District 64

  • Republican (Incumbent): Sheila Butt, Columbia
  • Independent: James Gray, Columbia

District 65

  • Republican (Incumbent): Jeremy Durham, Franklin
  • Democrat: William S. Peach, Franklin

District 66 (No incumbent — Joshua Evans, R-Greenbrier, running for state Senate Dist. 25)

  • Republican: Sabi (Doc) Kumar, Springfield
  • Democrat: Kyle Roberts, Cross Plains

District 67

  • Democrat (Incumbent): Joe Pitts, Clarksville
  • Constitution: Mike Warner, Clarksville

District 69

  • Republican: Michael G. Curcio, Dickson
  • Democrat (Incumbent): David Shepard, Dickson

District 73

  • Republican (Incumbent): Jimmy Eldridge, Jackson
  • Democrat: Shelia L. Godwin, Oakfield

District 74

  • Republican: Jay D. Reedy, Erin
  • Democrat (Incumbent): John C. Tidwell, New Johnsonville

District 75

  • Republican (Incumbent): Tim Wirgau, Buchanan
  • Democrat: Randy Patton, Camden
  • Independent: James L. Hart, Buchanan

District 76

  • Republican (Incumbent): Andy Holt, Dresden
  • Democrat: Joyce Washington, Martin

District 78

  • Republican (Incumbent): Mary Littleton, Dickson
  • Democrat: Jane R. Crisp, Pegram

District 79

  • Republican (Incumbent): Curtis Halford, Dyer
  • Democrat: Bobby G. Barnett, Humboldt
  • Independent: David Nance, Trenton

District 86

  • Republican: George T. Edwards III, Millington
  • Democrat (Incumbent): Barbara Cooper, Memphis

District 88

  • Republican: Harry Barber, Bartlett
  • Democrat (Incumbent): Larry J. Miller, Memphis

District 91

  • Republican: Samuel Watkins, Memphis
  • Democrat (Incumbent): Raumesh A. Akbari, Memphis

District 92

  • Republican (Incumbent): Billy Spivey, Lewisburg
  • Democrat: Vicki C. Cain, Lewisburg

District 93

  • Republican: Colonel Gene Billingsley, Memphis
  • Democrat (Incumbent): G.A. Hardaway Sr., Memphis

District 96

  • Republican (Incumbent): Steve McManus, Cordova
  • Democrat: Hilman D. Thompson, Cordova

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