Tennessee Republicans eye Nashville seat for flip; Democrats vie to face governor

Campaign signs are posted outside a polling location on the first day of early voting on July 15, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. GOP lawmakers redistricted the left-leaning city early this year, splitting its one seat into three to help Republicans gain a seat. (AP Photo/Jonathan Mattise, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee Republicans on Thursday will settle a nine-way primary in a reconfigured congressional district in Nashville they are hoping to flip, while Democrats will choose their nominee for governor in what could be a history-making bid to topple the GOP incumbent.

Two of three Democratic candidates for governor would be the state's first Black Democratic nominee for that office; the third is a physician running for political office for the first time, spurred by Republican Gov. Bill Lee's hands-off response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lee is running unopposed and would have a strong advantage in a general election in a state that has not elected a Democrat to statewide office since 2006.

Redrawn congressional districts helped put Tennessee among the states where Republicans hope to flip a seat in a push to reclaim control of the U.S.