Durham loses GOP primary after sexual harassment allegations

Hamilton County general and Tennessee primary election stories

NASHVILLE - The subject of a scathing attorney general's report on sexual harassment allegations lost his Republican primary for the Tennessee House on Thursday.

Rep. Jeremy Durham had suspended his campaign after the report outlined allegations of improper sexual contact with 22 women but had denied any wrongdoing and did not drop out of the race. Durham was defeated by former Army Col. Sam Whitson.

"It was hard convincing people we could do this," Whitson told The Tennessean newspaper. "My wife and I gave each other $1,000 and said, 'Here, this is what we're going to campaign with,' when Durham had over $200,000. People said we were wasting our time, that he couldn't be beat."

Other legislative races that have drawn interest this campaign season:

HOUSE DISTRICT 95: Despite outspending his nearest rival by nearly $100,000 during the campaign, Republican Rep. Curry Todd lost his primary to Mark Lovell. Todd was jailed this week for failing to show up for questioning about video showing him removing his opponents' campaign signs, but Lovell bailed him out of jail. Todd is a retired Memphis police officer who pleaded guilty after a 2011 arrest for drunken driving with a loaded handgun in his car.

HOUSE DISTRICT 18: Rep. Martin Daniel of Knoxville won the Republican nomination despite being charged with misdemeanor assault for allegedly shoving rival Steve Hall during a candidate forum. Daniel won 39 percent of the vote, compared with 28 percent for Hall and 25 percent for James Corcoran.

SENATE DISTRICT 4: State Rep. Jon Lundberg of Bristol won the Republican nomination for the seat vacated by Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville. Lundberg won 55 percent of the vote, compared with 21 percent for former Rep. Tony Shipley of Kingsport and 21 percent for former University of Tennessee football player Neal Kerney.

HOUSE DISTRICT 61: House Finance Chairman Charles Sargent of Franklin left nothing to chance in his rematch with businessman Steve Gawrys, winning the Republican nomination by 66 percent to 31 percent. It's a stark contrast from the same matchup two years ago, in which Sargent eked out a win by just 256 votes after being targeted by state gun rights activists.

SENATE DISTRICT 2: Sen. Doug Overbey of Maryville won his Republican primary contest against opponent Scott Williams by 22 percentage points. Overbey had become a target of Americans for Prosperity, the group led by billionaire conservative brothers Charles and David Koch, for supporting Republican Gov. Bill Haslam's failed Insure Tennessee proposal to extend health care coverage to 280,000 low-income people.

SENATE DISTRICT 26: Senate Education Chairwoman Dolores Gresham of Somerville turned back a Republican primary challenge from Savannah Mayor Bob Shutt, 53 percent to 467 percent. Shutt had argued that Haslam's Insure Tennessee plan would have helped keep rural hospitals from closing in west Tennessee. Gresham opposed Insure Tennessee and has blamed the closures on President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

Upcoming Events