Tennessee House incumbents secure party nominations

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FILE – Democratic TN 2nd Congressional District nominee Renee Hoyos campaigns in 2016. Source: hoyosforcongress.com

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Several incumbents running for reelection in their House districts comfortably won their primaries Thursday.

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen will defend his U.S. House seat against a Republican challenger in November after soundly defeating a Democratic primary challenger in Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District. Meanwhile, incumbent Democrat Jim Cooper won his party’s primary in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District.

Cooper, a white lawmaker with a reputation as a moderate Democrat, defeated Keeda Haynes, a Black public defender. Haynes served four years in federal prison for a drug-related crime she has maintained she didn’t commit.

Cooper has held his Nashville-area House seat since 2003. Before that, he served in the House from 1983 to 1995.

The 5th District is just one of only two Democratic-held congressional seats in Tennessee.

Thursday’s victory assures him the seat, as no Republican is running the November general election.

Cohen, the seven-term incumbent and vocal critic of President Donald Trump, prevailed over former Shelby County Democratic Party chair Corey Strong.

Cohen has won his past six general elections by 74% of the vote or more. Strong, who is Black, is a U.S. Navy veteran who was vying for an upset.

African American candidate Charlotte Bergmann ran unopposed in the Republican primary. She has lost three previous general elections to Cohen in the 9th district.

For Republicans, Scott DesJarlais won the primary in Tennessee’s 4th Congressional District. DesJarlais is seeking a sixth term in Congress. He’s a physician from Jasper, 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.

The Republican will face Democrat Christopher Hale in the November general election. Hale won the Democratic primary against two other challengers.

Over in the 8th District, Erika Stotts Pearson won the Democratic primary. She will face Republican Rep. David Kustoff, who ran unopposed, in November.

Pearson has worked as a sports agent and an educator. She currently operates a health care provider and a logistics company, according to a biography posted on her Facebook page.

In the 2nd District, Renee Hoyos won the Democratic primary. She’ll face Republican Rep. Tim Burchett, who also ran unopposed, in November.

Race results were still being tabulated for the remaining congressional races in Tennessee.

East Tennesse Congressional Races

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