published Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Jim Cobb loses, three other incumbents win in state House

Poll
Were you surprised by any election results?

One Republican incumbent lost his state House of Representatives seat, but three others will keep theirs, at least until November.

In a lively Republican primary for the House District 31, Ron Travis, a Dayton businessman, beat Rep. Jim Cobb, R-Spring City, in the recently redrawn district that cut out Hamilton County, and now includes Rhea, Sequatchie, Bledsoe and part of Roane counties.

Travis, 57, squeaked out a win, pulling 51 percent of the vote to Cobb's 49 percent, but he lost in his home county of Rhea.

"It's a great night. We've worked hard and everyone on our team has worked hard," Travis said. "I'm telling you it's a blessed night. I'm humbled."

Cobb, 61, who has served for three terms, or six years, could not be reached for comment Thursday night on the nail-biting loss.

No Democrat is running in the district, so the winner will not face November opposition.

House District 30

In House District 30, Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, had no GOP challenger in his bid for a fourth term in the House, but Sandy Norris Smith emerged as the winner of Democratic primary and will face Dean in November.

Dean, 53, said he very pleased with his votes in the GOP primary, which topped the total votes cast in the Democratic Primary by about 5-to-1.

"And I look forward to a campaign with Ms. Smith, and I look forward to what she has to say about the 30th District," Dean said

In the primary, Smith faced Democrat challengers L. Brock Bennington and Brian White. She received 63 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary.

Smith, 65, who retired in June after a teaching career of 40 years, said Thursday night she was excited with her primary nomination

"I'm fired up and ready to charge on to November," she said.

House District 27

Rep. Richard Floyd's re-election was a landslide.

The Chattanooga Republican faced perennial candidate Basil Marceaux Sr., 60, in the House District 27 GOP primary. Floyd, 68, received more than 90 percent of the votes.

In November, Floyd will face Democrat Frank Eaton in the general election.

Eaton had no opposition in the Democratic primary.

House District 26

Incumbent House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick, R-Chattanooga, had no GOP opponent in the primary but will face Democrat Larry Miller and Independent Rodger Cooksey in the fall.

McCormick, 50, co-owns a commercial real estate development and brokerage company. In Thursday's election, he received 98 percent of the votes with the remaining 2 percent going to write-in candidates.

The Republican-leaning District 26 changed during legislative redistricting this year, shedding areas such as Collegedale and Ooltewah and taking in new precincts in Hixson, Riverview, Stuart Heights and North Chattanooga.

about Joan Garrett McClane...

Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Times Free Press since August 2007. Before becoming a general assignment writer for the paper, she wrote about business, higher education and the court systems. She grew up the oldest of five sisters near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated with a master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. Before landing her first full-time job as a reporter at the Times Free Press, ...

about Pam Sohn...

Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...

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