Stephen Fincher

Ratings Update: Tennessee Senate Remains Solid R for Now
Democrats may still have uphill battle, even with Bredesen

Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen. (Courtesy the American Academy of Arts and Sciences)

Democrats made a big splash this week with the entry of former Gov. Phil Bredesen into the Tennessee Senate race, but the party still has an uphill battle in a state President Donald Trump won convincingly, and it’s not even clear Bredesen gives Democrats the best chance of winning.

On the surface, having a former two-term governor running for an open seat (GOP Sen. Bob Corker is not running for re-election) looks like a great takeover opportunity for Democrats, but there are some signs that the race should still be considered a long shot.

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen Running for Senate in Tennessee
Democrats already have an Iraq War veteran in the open-seat race

Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen said his experience prepares him to “fix the mess in Washington” in announcing his campaign for retiring Sen. Bob Corker’s seat. (Bredesen for Senate via YouTube)

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen is running for the open Senate seat in Tennessee. 

“I’m running for the Senate because I have the right kind of experience, and the actual track record that it will take to start working across party lines to fix the mess in Washington,” Bredesen said in announcement video Thursday morning. 

Former Tennessee Rep. Stephen Fincher Running for Senate
Fincher will face former House colleague Marsha Blackburn in primary

Former Tennessee Rep. Stephen Fincher, who did not seek re-election in 2016, is running for Senate.  (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Stephen Fincher is entering the GOP primary for the Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Bob Corker in 2018. 

Fincher joins his former colleague, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, in the primary. Both Republicans come to the race with hefty war chests. 

Former Democratic Governor Weighing Tennessee Senate Run
Bredesen is the last Democrat to hold statewide office in Tennessee

Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, left, presents singer-songwriter Dolly Parton her star as she is inducted into the Music City Walk of Fame on November 8, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. Current potential Michigan Senate candidate Robert Ritchie, a.k.a. Kid Rock, applauds center-right. (Rick Diamond/Getty Images)

Former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen is weighing whether to jump into Tennessee’s senate race to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker.

Bredesen is the last Democrat to win statewide office in Tennessee.

Marsha Blackburn Running for Senate in Tennessee
Blackburn is jumping into the race to succeed Sen. Bob Corker

Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, seen here at the Republican National Convention, announced she’s running for Senate.... (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn announced Thursday she’s running for the seat Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker will vacate in 2018.

“The United States Senate: it’s totally dysfunctional and it’s enough to drive you nuts. And that’s why I’ve decided to do something about it,” Blackburn said in her nearly three-minute long announcement video.  “I’m a hard core, card-carrying conservative. I’m politically incorrect and proud of it.”

Tennessee’s Bob Corker Won’t Seek Re-Election in 2018
Foreign Relations chairman will leave behind safe GOP seat

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker announced Tuesday he will not seek re-election in 2018. 

“When I ran for the Senate in 2006, I told people that I couldn’t imagine serving for more than two terms,” the Senate Foreign Relations chairman said in a statement.

Tennessee Republicans Prepare for Another Senate Primary
Field will grow if Bob Corker retires; Blackburn and Fincher could run

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is facing at least one primary challenger, with a few more looking at getting in the race. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

When Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker asked President Donald Trump to campaign for Alabama Sen. Luther Strange ahead of next week’s Senate Republican runoff, he might have had a little self-preservation in mind. 

A win by Roy Moore, the controversial former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, would throw a wrench into the deliberative body in which the moderate Tennessee Republican serves. But a Moore victory could also embolden primary challengers to other sitting senators, like Corker.

Saying Goodbye to the Departing Members of the 114th Congress

New Member: Kustoff Nets Open Seat in Tennessee's 8th District
Succeeds retiring GOP Rep. Stephen Fincher

David Kustoff is the congressman-elect in Tennessee's 8th District. (Courtesy of the Kustoff campaign)

Former U.S. Attorney David Kustoff will succeed retiring Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher in Tennessee’s 8th District, The Associated Press projects.

Kustoff led Democratic challenger Rickey Hobson 65 percent to 27 percent with 6 percent of precincts reporting.

Scandalized Tennessee Representative Survives Competitive Primary
Aggressive campaign from young challenger couldn't sink Scott DesJarlais

Rep. Scott Desjarlais, R-Tenn., talks with reporters after a meeting of the House Republican Conference in the Capitol, May 17, 2016. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Tennessee Republican Scott DesJarlais survived his primary in the 4th District Thursday night against former Mitt Romney aide Grant Starrett.  

Starrett tweeted that he called DesJarlais to concede shortly before The Associated Press called the race in the congressman's favor. DesJarlais won 52 percent of the vote to Starrett's 43.