Tennessee Primary Sets Up Likely Republican Woman Pick-Up in U.S. House

 

Congressional primaries were held on Thursday in Tennessee. Full context about women in the 2020 elections, including candidate lists, summaries, results from previous primaries, and historical comparisons, are available via the Center for American Women and Politics’ Election Watch page.

Among the most notable results for women:

  • Diana Harshbarger won the Republican nomination and Blair Walsingham won the Democratic nomination in Tennessee’s only open-seat contest for the U.S. House in the 1st congressional district. This all-woman contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report, indicating a likely pick-up by a Republican woman in November. No matter the result, Tennessee – which currently has no women House members – is all but guaranteed to have a woman in its nine-member U.S. House delegation in 2021.
  • All 5 (4D, 1R) other women winners in Tennessee’s congressional primaries will run in contests that strongly favor their opponents. Among them, 3 (2D, 1R) women House nominees challenged the same incumbents in 2018 and lost by at least 30 points.

U.S. Senate

Marquita Bradshaw won the Democratic nomination for Tennessee’s open-seat U.S. Senate contest. She will face Republican nominee Bill Hagerty in November. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R) became the first woman to represent Tennessee in the U.S. Senate in 2019. She is not up for re-election this year. If successful in November, Bradshaw – who is Black – would be the first woman of color to be elected statewide and to serve in the U.S. Congress from Tennessee.

U.S. House

No women currently serve in Tennessee’s nine-member delegation to the U.S. House.

Women are 6 (4D, 2R) of 17 (35.3%) major-party nominees already selected for U.S. House in Tennessee, including 4 of 9 (44.4%) Democrats and 2 of 8 (25%) Republicans. Another 3 (2D, 1R) women House candidates were unsuccessful in their primary bids in Tennessee.

  • Diana Harshbarger won the Republican nomination and Blair Walsingham won the Democratic nomination in Tennessee’s only open-seat contest for the U.S. House in the 1st congressional district. This all-woman contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report, indicating a likely pick-up by a Republican woman in November.
  • 4 (3D, 1R) women will run as challengers to incumbents in November in contests that currently favor their opponents.
    • Renee Hoyos (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Representative Tim Burchett (R) in Tennessee’s 2nd congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report. Hoyos was the Democratic nominee in 2018, when she lost to Burchett by 32 points.
    • Meg Gorman (D) was unopposed in the Democratic primary to challenge incumbent Representative Chuck Fleischmann (R) in Tennessee’s 3rd congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report.
    • Erika Stotts Pearson (D) won the Democratic nomination to challenge incumbent Representative David Kustoff (R) in Tennessee’s 8th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Republican” by Cook Political Report. Pearson was the Democratic nominee in 2018, when she lost to Kustoff by 37 points.
    • Charlotte Bergmann (R) was unopposed in the Republican primary to challenge incumbent Representative Steve Cohen (D) in Tennessee’s 9th congressional district. This contest is currently rated as “Solid Democratic” by Cook Political Report. Bergmann was the Republican nominee in 2018, when she lost to Cohen by 61 points.