Republicans eye Nashville seat for flip

Nashville, Tenn.: Tennessee Republicans on Thursday voted to settle a nine-way primary in a reconfigured congressional district in Nashville they are hoping to flip, while Democrats will choose their nominee for governor in what could be a history-making bid to topple the GOP incumbent.

Two of the three Democratic candidates for governor would be the state’s first Black Democratic nominee for that office; the third is a physician running for political office for the first time, spurred by Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s hands-off response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Lee is running unopposed and would have a strong advantage in a general election in a state that has not elected a Democrat to statewide office since 2006.

Redrawn congressional districts helped put Tennessee among the states where Republicans hope to flip a seat in a push to reclaim control of the U.S. House, providing the main drama in Tennessee’s Thursday primaries. Tennessee held the only statewide elections nationally Thursday.

Nashville’s 5th Congressional District drew heavy interest from Republicans after GOP state lawmakers carved Democratic-tilted Nashville into three districts, favoring their party in each seat. The new district favored Republican Donald Trump over Democrat Joe Biden by 12 percentage points in 2020.

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