U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn has won the Republican nomination in Tennessee’s open U.S. Senate race. Former Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen has won the Democratic nomination for an open U.S. Senate that Democrats see as critical to their hopes of taking control of the Senate.
Blackburn easily advanced past minimal opposition in Thursday’s primary. She and Bredesen have long looked past the primary to an expected general election matchup.
The race holds major implications for Democrats’ chances for overturning the 51-49 Republican Senate majority. Polls have shown a close contest for the seat currently held by retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker.
Blackburn could become the first female U.S. senator elected by Tennessee voters. She calls herself a “hardcore, card-carrying Tennessee conservative” who would fight for President Trump’s agenda.
Bredesen blew past nominal opposition in Thursday’s primary, as expected.
Bredesen is running as an independent thinker who says he will work with Mr. Trump when his ideas make sense for Tennessee and oppose him when they don’t.
Election officials said early voting for the primary election was up by 11 percent statewide, CBS Nashville affiliate WTVF-TV reports.
Some voters told WTVF-TV they’re concerned about Russian meddling and that may be affecting voter turnout. State officials, however, have been hoping to ease some of that concern.
“In regards to cybersecurity, that’s a concern any time,” said Tennessee’s election coordinator Mark Goins. “You have to consider yourself a target, and we do. We feel like we’re a target so we protect ourselves like we’re a target, and we take measures to prevent those things.”
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