Top Races to Watch on Tennessee’s Primary Day | NTK Network Top Races to Watch on Tennessee’s Primary Day

Top Races to Watch on Tennessee’s Primary Day

Thursday’s primaries will determine the candidates in key races for Senate and governor.

By NTK Staff | 08.02.2018 @12:00pm
Top Races to Watch on Tennessee’s Primary Day

Tennessee voters head to the polls Thursday to select candidates to represent each party in general election matchups this fall.

The Senate Race

On the Senate side, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and former Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN) are both expected to cruise to victory Thursday evening. Both face nominal opposition, but the real contest in this race will be in November.

Currently, CNN rates the Tennessee U.S. Senate race as “Leans Republican,” but Bredesen’s former tenure as governor of the state makes him a familiar face to many voters, even in deep-red Tennessee.

The Governor’s Race

On the gubernatorial side, Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) is widely viewed as the frontrunner in the GOP primary. But she is facing stiffer-than-expected competition from businessmen Bill Lee and Randy Boyd.

Vice President Mike Pence has endorsed Black’s candidacy. President Trump visited Tennessee earlier this year and stumped for Blackburn, and wished “good luck” to Black at that event.

All three Republicans in the race are considered “self-funders,” which has resulted in massive spending:

In total, according to a count from The Tennessean, $46 million has been spent in the Republican gubernatorial primary alone, with Boyd spending a whopping $19 million of his own money and Black pouring in $12 million of her own fortune.

Despite that spending, political watchers in the state believe the Lee has the momentum headed into Thursday’s primary, even though he has only pumped $5 million in personal contributions to his campaign.

On the Democratic side, former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean is expected to beat Tennessee House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh.

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