Congressional, legislative races are focus of Tennessee primary

Darryl Orr, Darren Jones, Mark Parks and Ty Jacobs, from left, gather poll items to load into a car Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at the Election Commission on Amnicola Highway.

Hamilton County general and Tennessee primary election stories

NASHVILLE - With no statewide positions on the Tennessee primary ballot on Thursday, much of the attention this election season has focused on congressional and state legislative races.

An open congressional seat in western Tennessee attracted a baker's dozen of candidates to enter the fray for the Republican nomination, while U.S. Reps. Scott DesJarlais and Diane Black are trying to fend off primary challenges from GOP candidates who are trying to position themselves to the right of the incumbents.

In the Tennessee General Assembly, all 99 House seats and 16 of 33 Senate seats up this year. Thirty-eight GOP incumbents are facing challenges by candidates seeking to join the strong Republican majorities in both chambers.

While state Rep. Jeremy Durham has suspended his campaign amid accusations of sexual harassment outlined in a state attorney general's report, the Franklin Republican remains on the ballot. Several Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Beth Harwell of Nashville, have made contributions to Durham's opponent Sam Whitson.

Voters will also decide whether to retain or replace three newly appointed state Supreme Court justices and seven appeals judges. Only one justice has ever been defeated in a Tennessee retention election. And unlike two years ago when Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey bankrolled an unsuccessful effort to oust three justices appointed by Democrats, there been no concerted effort this year to oust anyone from the bench.

Republican U.S. Rep. Steven Fincher's announcement this spring that he wouldn't seek re-election to his 8th District seat stretching from Memphis through rural northwestern Tennessee set off some of most spirited campaigning of the year.

The district is heavily Republican and is considered a safe GOP seat in November's general election. Of the 13 Republican candidates vying to succeed Fincher, five have raised significant amounts of money for their campaign. They are radiologist and radio station owner George Flinn; state Sen. Brian Kelsey; former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff; Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and businessman Brad Greer. From that group, all but Greer, who is from Jackson, are from the Memphis area.

In the 4th District, which runs southeast from the suburbs of Nashville to the outskirts of Chattanooga, DesJarlais is being challenged by Murfreesboro real estate attorney Grant Starrett.

DesJarlais, a physician from Jasper, has survived cancer and a series of revelations that included affairs with patients. He also urged a mistress to seek an abortion and once held a gun in his mouth for hours outside his ex-wife's room. He now opposes abortion rights.

DesJarlais, a perennial favorite among national pundits to be defeated in the primary, won the nomination in 2014 by just 38 votes. DesJarlais was an early supporter of Donald Trump's presidential campaign, and the congressman has hammered Starrett for being a California native "trust fund millionaire."

Starrett has loaned his campaign nearly $900,000.

In the 6th District, which runs northeast from the Nashville suburbs to the Cumberland Plateau, Black is seeking to fend off the tea party-styled challenge of former state Rep. Joe Carr of Murfreesboro. Black has heavily outspent Carr, but the challenger has had relied heavily on conservative talk radio to attack the incumbent as a member of the "establishment."

Carr surprised many observers when he came within 9 percentage points of U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, a former governor and presidential candidate, in the 2014 Senate primary. But Alexander largely ignored the Carr campaign during that nomination fight, while Black has gone on the offensive against her challenger this year. Black campaign mailers have targeted Carr for living outside the district boundaries and for being a perennial candidate.

Where to vote in State Primary and Hamilton County General elections

Listed below are the locations of the polling places that will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today: Airport Shepherd Recreation Center 2124 E. Shepherd Road Alton Park 1 & 2 The Bethlehem Center 200 W. 38th St. Amnicola Chattanooga Fire Station 10 910 Wisdom St. Apison 1, 2 & 3 Apison Retreat Center 11206 Old E. Brainerd Road Avondale Avondale Recreation Center 1305 Dodson Ave. Bakewell 1 & 2 Rechoboth Baptist 12622 Dayton Pike Birchwood Meadowview Baptist 10715 Ooltewah-Georgetown Road Bonny Oaks Washington Hill Recreation 4628 Oakwood Drive Brainerd Brainerd Baptist Crossroads (BX) 4011 Austin St. Brainerd Hills Alahambra Shrine Temple 1000 Alhambra Drive Bushtown Carver Community Center 600 N. Orchard Knob Ave. Collegedale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6 Collegedale City Hall 4910 Swinyar Drive Concord 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7 Concord Baptist 7025 E. Brainerd Road Courthouse 1 & 2 Chattanooga Urban League 730 E. M.L. King Blvd. Dalewood New Hope Baptist 3777 Wilcox Blvd. Dallas 1 & 2 New Salem Baptist 9806 Dallas Hollow Road Downtown 1 & 2 Boynton Terrace Senior Neighbor Center 957 Boynton Drive Dupont The Gathering 4445 Hixson Pike, Hixson East Brainerd 1 & 2 Covenant Presbyterian 8451 E. Brainerd Road East Chattanooga 1 & 2 East Chattanooga Rec Center 2409 Dodson Ave. East Lake East Lake Recreation Center (Gym) 3601 Dodds Ave. East Ridge 1 East Ridge City Hall (Gym) 1517 Tombras Ave. East Ridge 2 The American Legion 3329 Ringgold Road East Ridge 3 East Ridge City Hall, Senior Center (Gym side entrance) 1517 Tombras Ave. East Ridge 4 East Ridge United Methodist 1601 Prater Road Eastdale Eastdale Recreation Center 1314 Moss St. Eastgate 1 & 2 New Covenant Fellowship 1326 N. Moore Road Eastside 1 & 2 McGilvray Gym 1800 Kirby Ave. Fairmount Bachman Community Center 2815 Anderson Pike Falling Water Falling Water Baptist 523 Roberts Mill Road Flat Top Mountain Volunteer Firehall 13331 Jones Gap Road Ganns Middle Valley Church of God 1703 Thrasher Pike Glenwood Glenwood Recreation Center 2610 E. Third St. Harrison 1, 2 & 6 Harrison Ruritan Club 5709 Tyner Lane Harrison 3, 4 & 5 Bayside Baptist 6100 Highway 58 Hixson 1 & 2 Hixson First Baptist 5800 Grubb Road Hixson 3 Burks United Methodist 6433 Hixson Pike Kingspoint 1, 2 & 3 Oakwood Baptist (Gym) 4501 Bonny Oaks Drive Lake Hills Northminster Presbyterian 4791 Hal Drive Lakesite Lakesite City Hall 9201 Rocky Point Road Lookout Mountain Jane Harris Youth Building 301 N. Watauga Lane Lookout Valley 1 & 2 John A. Patten Recreation Center 3202 Kellys Ferry Road Lupton City Lupton Drive Baptist 859 Lupton Drive Meadowview Volunteer Firehall No. 4 10916 Highway 58 Middle Valley 1 & 2 Middle Valley Baptist 7901 Middle Valley Road Missionary Ridge Missionary Ridge Neighborhood Association (Firehall) 36 Sheridan Ave. Moccasin Bend North Chattanooga Recreation Center 406 May St. Mountain Creek 1, 2 & 3 Mountain Creek Church of Christ 985 Runyan Drive Mowbray Mowbray Volunteer Fire Department 1705 Mowbray Pike Murray Hills 1 & 2 St Thaddaeus Episcopal 4300 Locksley Lane North Chattanooga 1 & 2 Knights of Columbus 313 Sylvan St. Northgate 1 & 2 Stuart Height Baptist Church. North Campus 1505 Cloverdale Drive Northwoods 1 & 2 Calvary Baptist Church 5201 Dayton Blvd. Ooltewah 1 & 2 Eastwood Church (Gym) 4300 Ooltewah-Ringgold Road Ooltewah 3, 4, 5 & 6 Seventh-Day Adventist (Gym) 9209 Amos Road Pleasant Grove 1 & 2 Pleasant Grove Baptist 7634 Gann Road Red Bank 1 Disabled American Veterans 619 Memorial Drive Red Bank 2 Red Bank Lion's Club 3704 Dayton Blvd. Red Bank 3 Red Bank Cumberland Presb. 115 Morrison Springs Road Ridgedale 1 & 2 Highland Park Community Center 1714 Duncan Ave. Ridgeside Ridgeside City Poolhouse 300 Shepherd Ave. Riverview Northside Presbyterian Church 923 Mississippi Ave. Sale Creek Sale Creek Lion's Club 15222 Coppinger Road Signal Mountain 1 & 2 Signal Mountain Presbyterian 612 James Blvd. Snowhill 1 & 2 Greenwood Baptist Church 8529 Snowhill Road Soddy Daisy 1 & 4 Soddy Daisy Senior Citizen Center 190 Depot St. Soddy Daisy 2 & 3 Daisy Church of God 9555 Dayton Pike St Elmo 1 & 2 South Chatt. Recreation Center 1151 W. 40th St. Stuart Heights Rivermont Presbyterian 3319 Hixson Pike Summit 1, 2, 3 & 4 Silverdale Cumberland Presbyterian 7407 Bonny Oaks Drive Tyner 1 & 2 Tyner-East Brainerd Recreation (Gym) 6900 Ty-Hi Drive Valdeau Mtn. Creek Church of Christ 985 Runyan Drive Walden Walden Town Hall 1836 Taft Highway Westview 1, 2 & 3 Christ United Methodist 8645 E. Brainerd Road Woodmore 1 & 2 Brainerd Recreation Center 1010 N. Moore Road