By ALEXANDER WILLIS
Marsha Blackburn and Phil Bredesen easily won their respective primary elections on Thursday, making them the Republican and Democratic U.S. Senator nominees, respectively.
Blackburn received 11,951 votes in Williamson County, easily grabbing the nomination over her only Republican opponent, Aaron Pettigrew, who received 2,210 votes. Statewide, Blackburn had 599,669, or 84.48%, compared to Pettigrew’s 110,201, or 15.52%.
Bredesen received 5,793 votes in Williamson County and 343,082 statewide, or 91.52%. Bredesen’s two opponents, Gary Davis and John Wolfe, received 129 and 86 votes, respectively, easily securing the nomination for Bredesen. Statewide, Gary Davis earned 19,786, or 5.28%, and Wolfe had 11,990, or 3.2%.
Now the two candidates will campaign until the general election on November 6, where Tennesseans will elect their new representative to send to the U.S. Senate.
“Today is a milestone and the beginning of the general election, and I am grateful you are entrusting me with the Republican nomination for the United States Senate,” Blackburn said in a statement. “We ask for your continued support as we work to earn every single vote and win in November.”
“This is not someplace I ever thought I’d be again when I left the Governor’s office,” Bredesen said in a statement. “If you’re expecting me to pay you back for all the help you’ve been putting forward, you’re probably going to be disappointed, because I’m going to pay you forward by being the best damn Senator you ever sent up there.”
Polling data has shown both candidates to be close, causing this race to draw national attention, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saying the Tennessee U.S. Senate seat is “likely to be in play.”