NASHVILLE - Lamar Alexander has staked an early lead in the primary to determine if the Republican is nominated to a third term in the U.S. Senate.
With 3 percent of precincts reporting, which includes partial early voting totals, Alexander had 107,559 votes, or 53 percent, compared with 77,376 votes, or 38 percent, for state Rep. Joe Carr.
Voters in the 4th Congressional District are deciding whether they want to stick with U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais despite a series of personal scandals that have dogged him since he was first elected in 2010. In early returns, challenger Jim Tracy had a 7 percentage point lead over DesJarlais.
Meanwhile, Republican Gov. Bill Haslam defeated token opposition to win the Republican nomination to a second term.