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VOL. 44 | NO. 44 | Friday, October 30, 2020

Harshbarger wins Tennessee's open House race

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Republican Diane Harshbarger on Tuesday won an open U.S. House seat in northeastern Tennessee, while incumbents held onto the state's remaining eight congressional seats.

The first-time political candidate defeated Democratic candidate Blair Walsingham in a congressional district that has been represented by Republicans since the Civil War. Notably, the win means a woman will join Tennessee's nine-member U.S. House delegation, which had been previously dominated by men.

Furthermore, Harshbarger's win marks the first time a woman has secured the congressional seat in a regular election.

The only other woman to hold the seat was Louise Reece, who was picked to finish the rest of her husband's term when he died in 1961. It was the only time a special election has been held in the congressional district.

Harshbarger, a pharmacist, will replace outgoing U.S. House Rep. Phil Roe, who announced earlier this year that he wouldn't pursue a seventh term.

"You can't tell me that God does not hear your prayers, because he does, and I am living proof," Harshbarger said during her acceptance speech. "I am blessed beyond measure. I want you to know that nobody is going to fight harder for you than me."

Harshbarger joked that she planned on being called "CWD," or "Congresswoman Diana" like other high-profile women in politics, specifically referencing newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who is sometimes known as "ACB."

Here is a look at how the rest of Tennessee's congressional race results:

2nd CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Tim Burchett has been reelected to represent an east Tennessee district for a second term in the U.S. House. Burchett defeated Democratic candidate Renee Hoyos.

3rd CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Republican incumbent Chuck Fleischmann has been reelected to represent a southeastern Tennessee district in the U.S. House. Fleischmann defeated Democrat Meg Gorman, securing a sixth term.

4th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Incumbent Scott DesJarlais has been reelected to represent a middle Tennessee district in the U.S. House, securing a sixth term in Congress.

DesJarlais secured his bid to represent the district after defeating Democratic nominee Christopher Hale. The Jasper physician has survived cancer and a series of revelations that included affairs with patients.

DesJarlais 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 has since said he opposes abortion rights.

5th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Incumbent Democrat Jim Cooper has won reelection to represent the U.S. House in a Nashville-area district.

Cooper ran unopposed in the general election. He holds just one of two Democratic-held congressional seats in Tennessee, where the remaining seven districts are controlled by Republicans.

Cooper has held his Nashville-area House seat since 2003. Before that, he served in the House representing another congressional district t from 1983 to 1995. He has long held a reputation as a moderate Democrat.

6th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Republican incumbent John Rose has won the race for the U.S. House seat representing north-central Tennessee. Rose defeated Democrat Christopher Finley and independent Christopher Monday.

Rose is returning to Washington for his second term in the House. He is a supporter of President Donald Trump and is a member of the House Financial Services Committee.

The conservative farm owner and businessman from Cookeville won in 2016 in the race to replace Diane Black. The mostly rural, solidly Republican district includes all of 17 counties and part of two others.

Finley, of Sparta, was raised on a family farm, which he owns, according to a biography posted on his Facebook page.

7th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Republican Mark Green is returning to the U.S. House for a second term.

Green won the race for the Tennessee House seat that includes Clarksville and the suburbs of Nashville. Green, of Ashland City, defeated Democrat Kiran Sreepada and two independents.

The district runs from the Kentucky border to the borders of Mississippi and Alabama. It includes all or parts of 19 counties, including the city of Clarksville, the Nashville suburbs in Williamson County, and other small towns and rural areas.

Green is a former Army flight surgeon who won the 2018 race to fill the House seat left open when Republican Marsha Blackburn decided to run for U.S. Senate. He previously served in the Tennessee state Senate for six years.

8th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Republican David Kustoff is returning to the U.S. House for a third term. Kustoff defeated Democrat Erika Stotts Pearson and two independents in the race for the Tennessee House seat representing suburban Memphis.

Kustoff was first elected in 2016, when he replaced Republican Stephen Fincher, who retired. The district includes suburban Memphis and parts of more than a dozen mostly rural counties.

Kustoff is a former U.S. attorney who has aligned himself with President Donald Trump.

Stotts Pearson has worked in sports administration and founded a charter school in Memphis. She owns a home health solutions company and a logistics firm.

9th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Democrat Steve Cohen of Tennessee has won an eighth term in the U.S. House. Cohen defeated Republican Charlotte Bergmann and two independents in the race. The district encompasses the city of Memphis, which is majority Black.

Cohen, who is white, is a vocal critic of President Donald Trump. He has won his previous six general elections by 74% or more of the vote. He is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and voted to impeach Trump earlier this year.

Bergmann, who is Black, has now lost four general elections to Cohen. She ran unopposed in the Republican primary. Bergmann is a radio commentator, author, and former FedEx employee.

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