Bill Lee and Marsha Blackburn

Reflections on the 2018 General Election

Yesterday’s election did not bring much partisan change to Tennessee’s political landscape, as Republicans still control the state’s executive and legislative branches as well as the state’s congressional delegation. Here is a short breakdown of what happened.

Statewide Races

Bill Lee, who had never run for any political office, handily won the race for Governor and former state Senator and Congressman, Marsha Blackburn, won the race for U.S. Senate by a comfortable margin. The margins of defeat for very politically credible Democratic candidates had to be very disappointing to the Democratic Party, which may find their more moderate members deciding to vote in Republican primaries in the future in order to have some voice in who represents them.

State Legislative Races

In the state House of Representatives, Republicans lost two seats, picked up one seat, and, thus, continue to hold a super-majority. The seat held for years by Republican Beth Harwell was narrowly won by Democrat Bob Freeman and incumbent Republican Eddie Smith of Knoxville was defeated by the Democrat incumbent he had beaten four years ago, Gloria Johnson. Republican Chris Hurt picked up the seat vacated by Democrat Craig Fitzhugh, who retired to run for governor in the Democratic primary.

All incumbents in the state Senate, Republicans and Democrats alike, won reelection, though the Senate will have three new faces. Republican Representative Dawn White will fill the seat previously held by Republican Bill Ketron, and Democratic Representative Brenda Gilmore and Democrat Katrina Robinson will fill seats vacated by Democrats.

U.S. House Races

All incumbent members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican and Democrat alike, won reelection. Republicans also retained control of two open seats in the U.S. House. Now-former state Senator Mark Green will fill the U.S. House seat vacated by Senator-elect Marsha Blackburn.  Former state Senator and retiring Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett will fill the seat vacated by Republican Congressman Jimmy Duncan.

View all election results.

With the 2018 election cycle in the books, there is one thing for which all Tennesseans—Democrats, Republicans, and Independents—can give thanks this morning. All the political advertisements on television and radio, along with the political mail cluttering our mailboxes, have stopped!

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