Ninth District judicial race close; Supreme Court justices retained
U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander finished far ahead of a Tea Party challenger in the Republican primary on Thursday, and Representative Chuck Fleischmann narrowly beat Weston Wamp, the son of former Congressman Zach Wamp, in the second battle between the two men.
Alexander’s top opponent in the seven-candidate GOP primary was State Representative Joe Carr of Middle Tennessee. Alexander, who lost in his home district of Blount County, had 329,929 votes, compared to 269,883 for Carr, according to unofficial results posted by the Tennessee Secretary of State.
George Flinn, a Memphis radiologist and radio station owner, finished a distant third, with 34,568 votes.
Alexander, a former Tennessee governor and University of Tennessee president, will face Democrat Gordon Ball in the November 4 general election.
Ball finished about 2,000 votes ahead of Terry Adams in that party’s four-person primary on Thursday. Both men are Knoxville attorneys.
The battle between Fleischmann and Wamp heated up as the election loomed, and the incumbent finished about 2,700 votes ahead of his challenger, or 46,745 votes to 45,064, according to unofficial election results posted by the state of Tennessee. Fleischmann and Wamp faced off for the second time. Wamp, a founding director and communications and marketing director for a venture capital company in Chattanooga, also lost to Fleischmann in 2012 in a three-person primary that also included dairy executive Scotty Mayfield.
The seat was held by Zach Wamp from 1994 to 2010, when the eight-term congressman gave up his seat to run for governor. Fleischmann, an Ooltewah attorney, is a two-term congressman in Tennessee’s Third District, which stretches across the state from north to south and includes Oak Ridge and Chattanooga.
Fleischmann will face Democrat Mary Headrick of Maynardville in the November general election.
Alexander is the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, and Fleischmann is on the House Appropriations Committee and, important to Oak Ridge, the Energy and Water Subcommittee.
In District 4, which includes areas north and west of Oak Ridge, the Republican incumbent, Scott DesJarlais, held a very narrow lead over his GOP challenger, Jim Tracy—34,787 to 34,752. It wasn’t clear if the race was still too close to call.
In District 2, east of Oak Ridge, the Republican incumbent, John J. Duncan Jr. of Knoxville, finished far ahead of his Republican challenger, Jason Zachary—50,443 votes to 32,936.
In one of the most closely watched races in the state, Tennessee voters chose to retain three Supreme Court justices—Chief Justice Gary Wade and Justices Sharon Lee and Cornelia Clark—who were fighting to hold their seats in a race that saw unprecedented spending, concerns about interfering with the state’s system’s of “checks and balances,” and charges that special interests were trying to introduce partisan politics into the courtroom.
More than $1 million was spent in that unusual retention election battle. The margin to retain, rather than replace, was 100,000 votes or more for each justice.
In the Tennessee House’s District 36, Republican Dennis Powers, the incumbent, and Democrat James Virgil Kidwell were unopposed in their respective primaries.
Governor Bill Haslam, a former Knoxville mayor, finished hundreds of thousands of votes ahead of any other candidates in either the Republican or Democratic primary. Haslam, a Republican seeking his second four-year term, will take on Democrat Charles Brown in the November election.
In the Ninth Judicial District, attorney Mike Pemberton appeared to win a narrow victory over Roane County Attorney Tom McFarland—12,620 votes to 12,469. Besides Roane County, the Ninth District also includes Loudon, Meigs, and Morgan counties.
See this story for information on the uncontested race in the Tennessee Senate’s Fifth District, a seat held by Senator Randy McNally, an Oak Ridge Republican, and the GOP primary battle between Representative John Ragan and his challenger, Caitlin Nolan, in House District 33. The unofficial election results posted by the state in that district vary slightly from the totals posted by the Anderson County Election Commission.
See the state’s unofficial election results here.
See the Anderson County unofficial results here: Anderson County 2014 Election Results.
See the Roane County unofficial election results here.
See the Anderson County precinct results here: Anderson County Precinct Results August 2014 Election.