Tennessee Has Fewer Contested Legislative Seats Than Past 5 Election Cycles

Image Credit: sos.tn.gov

The Tennessee Conservative [By Jason Vaughn] –

Tennessee has fewer contested legislative primaries this year than in the past five election cycles. 

A primary is considered to be contested when there are more candidates who apply to run than there are open nominations. This means at least one candidate must lose the nomination.

For this election cycle, there are 36 contested state legislative primaries in Tennessee. This makes up 16% of the total number of primaries in the state and represents a 5% decrease over the 2020 cycle.

Fewer Democrats are filing to run during this election cycle. 11 of the 36 contested primaries are for Democrats, a drop of 14 – or 21% – from 2020. The opposite is true for Republicans. They have 25 of the contested primaries and show an increase of 4% from 2020 numbers.

Elections are being held in all 99 House districts and in 17 of the 33 Senate districts in Tennessee. There are 79 Democrats and 135 Republicans who have filed to run in these elections.

In 17 of those districts, no incumbent has filed to run, so the election is open. These numbers indicate that at least 15% of the districts will be represented by newly elected officials for the upcoming year.

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The Republican primary for the position of governor has Governor Bill Lee running unopposed. There are three Democrats running in the primary for governor: Carnita Atwater, Jason Martin, and JB Smiley, Jr. 

In 2010, Republicans took control of the state with the election of former Governor Bill Haslam. Currently, Republicans have a majority of 72-24 in the House with one open district. In the Senate, the majority is 27-6.

Legislative primaries in Tennessee will take place on Thursday, August 4. While many states hold primaries on Tuesdays, the Tennessee state constitution says that elections must be held on the first Thursday of August for “judicial and other civil officers.”

In Tennessee, the person who receives the most votes in a primary election wins the nomination, even if that person does not receive at least 50%. Tennessee also does not cancel uncontested primaries.

About the Author: Jason Vaughn, Media Coordinator for The Tennessee Conservative  ~ Jason previously worked for a legacy publishing company based in Crossville, TN in a variety of roles through his career.  Most recently, he served as Deputy Director for their flagship publication. Prior, he was a freelance journalist writing articles that appeared in the Herald Citizen, the Crossville Chronicle and The Oracle among others.  He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a Bachelor’s in English-Journalism, with minors in Broadcast Journalism and History.  Contact Jason at news@TennesseeConservativeNews.com

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