Incumbents coast to easy victory in Tennessee races

Incumbents coast to easy victory in Tennessee races

November 6th, 2012 by Associated Press, Ellis Smith and David Cook in Local - Breaking News

With the vast majority of precincts reporting, Tennessee's incumbents posted wide leads over their challengers.

The mostly male, mostly Republican field saw only a single competitive race. But the tight contest initially projected for U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais and Democrat Eric Stewart did not come to pass, as DesJarlais easily triumphed despite revelations that the doctor once had an affair with a patient and urged her to get an abortion.

The congressman has claimed to be pro-life. Democrats later identified the district as a possible pickup, and began to pour money into the race.

With 67 percent of precincts reporting, the Jasper physician had 77,095 votes, or 59 percent, compared with Democrat Eric Stewart's 54,405, or 41 percent.

DesJarlais was the only one of the nine-member Tennessee delegation in Congress to face a serious challenge.

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Bob Corker secured an early victory this evening, as the Tennessee Senator faced off against more than half a dozen challengers.

Corker led Democrat Mark Clayton by a wide margin with 70 percent of the votes, as the Associated Press called the race in Corker's favor early in the evening.

The race was not expected to be close, as Clayton has been disavowed by his own party for what some have called extreme views and ties to hate groups.

Incumbent U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann pulled ahead of challengers Matthew Deniston and Mary Headrick in Tennessee's third district, with 92 percent of precincts reporting. Fleischmann, a republican, was up by 61 percent, to Headrick's 36 percent, according to the Associated Press.

Fleischmann led 150,780 votes to 87,152 votes just before 11 p.m.

Fleischmann was never expected to lose the seat, which was contested during the primary by former dairy magnate Scottie Mayfield and Weston Wamp, son of former U.S. Rep Zach Wamp.

state races

In the state legislature, house speaker Gerald McCormick, incumbent Republican, won easily over independent challenger Rodger Cooksey, with 91 percent of districts reporting.

McCormick did not face a Democratic challenger in the state's 26th District. The race was not expected to be close.

He led 75 percent to 25 percent, or 19,858 votes to 6,689 votes, according to unofficial Tennessee Department of State results.

Republican Todd Gardenhire's lead continued to grow in the State Senate District 10 race, according to the TN Secretary of State.

Gardenhire, a 64-year-old financial advisor, held 54.11 percent of the vote, with Andraè McGary, the Democrat city councilman from Chattanooga, trailing with with 45.89 percent of the vote, according to unofficial state figures.

Approximately five thousand votes separate the two men - Gardenhire's 35,795 votes to McGary's 27,854 - in this race to represent portions of Bradley and Hamilton counties.

The GOP's State Rep. Richard Floyd, incumbent, bested Democrat Frank Eaton in Tennessee's 27th District with more than a 85 percent of districts reporting.

Floyd, a retired Coca-Cola executive, represents Hamilton County in the state legislature. Floyd led by 68 percent to 32 percent, or 17,703 votes to 8,213 votes, according to the Associated Press.

State Rep. Joanne Favors, the delegation's only Democrat, won by a landslide over Republican rival Johnny Horne in Tennessee's 28th District tonight.

Favors led the race this evening 83 percent to 17 percent, with 19,477 votes to just 3,948 for Horne.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact staff writer Ellis Smith at esmith@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6315.