Voters elected the first woman to represent Tennessee in the United States Senate on Tuesday night when Republican Marsha Blackburn won a hotly contested race against former governor Phil Bredesen, a Democrat.
Blackburn, who has represented the 7th district of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2002, captured 60 percent of the statewide vote, according to unofficial results from the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office. Bredesen received 39 percent of the vote statewide.
In Coffee County, where the midterm election saw 54 percent of registered voters participate, Blackburn received 11,113 votes, compared to the 5,571 ballots cast here for Bredesen.
“You have sent a message that it is time to take Tennessee conservative values to Washington and keep our state and our country moving forward. I am so incredibly grateful to each of you for doing your part, standing with me, staying strong and turning out the vote,” Blackburn said after the results had been announced Tuesday night. “It is such an honor to be the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate from Tennessee. I am going to work as hard for you as you have worked for me. Just as we said on day one, I will take our shared Tennessee values to work on issues of importance to you in Washington: more constitutional federal judges and Supreme Court Justices, lower taxes, less regulation, protecting the right to life, defending the Second Amendment, providing for our troops and veterans, getting the federal budget under control and building the wall once and for all on the southern border. Thank you for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. This is very humbling, and I will not let you down.”
The Republican Party will hold onto the governor’s mansion for another four years, after Bill Lee won that race.
In Coffee County, Lee received 11,826 votes, compared to the 4,866 votes cast here for Democrat Karl Dean, according to unofficial results from the Coffee County Election Commission.
Statewide, Lee won the election with a decisive 60 percent of the vote. Dean’s candidacy was supported by 39 percent of Tennessee voters.
“I offer congratulations to Karl Dean on a race well run,” Lee said on Tuesday night. “Running for governor is tough work, and it means a lot to put yourself out there to the voters - we need more involvement in the public discourse, not less, and I thank Karl for his commitment to our state.
“I want to speak for just a second to those who may not have voted for me tonight: I want you to know from the bottom of my heart, I care about you, I care about your family, and I’m going to do my very best to make you proud that I’m your governor.”
U.S. House of Representatives
Voters across the sixth district selected Republican John Rose to the U.S. House of Representatives seat currently held by Diane Black. Rather than seek another term in the House, Black opted to run for the Senate seat that was up for grabs after Sen. Bob Corker announced his retirement. Black lost that primary to Blackburn.
Rose received 11,450 votes in Coffee County. The Democrat in this race, Dawn Barlow, garnered the support of 4,655 Coffee County voters.
Districtwide, Rose received 69 percent of the vote, compared to Barlow’s 28 percent.
Tennessee House of Representatives
In the contest for the 47th District Tennessee State House of Representatives, Republican Rush Bricken was the victor, receiving 11,087 votes in his home county. Democrat Mike Winton received the support of 5,509 Coffee County voters.
Districtwide, Bricken received 66 percent of the vote, compared to Winton’s 34 percent.
Judd Matheny, the current representative for the 47th district, will leave the legislature at the end of his term. Matheny launched a campaign to fill Diane Black’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, but lost the primary.