Republican Bill Haslam has been re-elected to a second term as Tennessee governor.
The outcome of Tuesday’s election was widely expected, as Haslam faced no serious opposition either in the primary or the general election. He beat Democrat Charlie Brown, who raised no money in his bid for office.
Haslam gave his victory speech at the Country Music Hall of Fame where he laid out plans for his second term.
“We’re really proud of the legislature that we have; that we’re making those hard choices and because of that, Tennessee is moving forward. So what about the next four years? I’ll tell you what about the next four years. We’re going to double down on the progress that Tennessee is making.”
Haslam easily carried Moore County with 1,145 votes to Brown’s 306.
Moore County election officials reported voter turnout to be right at 39 percent.
***** Republican Lamar Alexander was re-elected Tuesday to a third term in the U.S. Senate after what was one of the more difficult campaigns in his 40-year political career in Tennessee.
Alexander faced Democrat Gordon Ball, a Knoxville attorney who largely self-funded a campaign that sought to portray the incumbent as out of touch with Tennessee voters on issues including immigration, Common Core education standards and minimum-wage laws.
In early returns, Alexander had a substantial lead.
Alexander is a former governor who also ran for president twice. He had spent a combined $8.6 million through the latest reporting deadline.
Alexander was the popular vote in Moore County, however, easily carrying the county with 67 percent of the vote. He had 1,152 votes to 445 for Ball. Joe Wilmoth was a distant third with 48 votes.
“I’m one more vote for a Republican majority to move the country in a different direction,” he said. “I’ll have a chance to be the chairman of the committee on education, labor and health all rolled into one.”
***** Republican incumbent Scott DesJarlais defeated Democrat newcomer Lenda Sherrell in Tuesday’s election, keeping the seat in GOP hands despite facing a series of personal scandals.
In early returns, DesJarlais had won 59 percent of the vote Tuesday night.
DesJarlais won the right to defend his 4th District seat after a victory of just 38 votes in the August primary against state Sen. Jim Tracy. The 4th District stretches from the suburbs of Nashville to the outskirts of Chattanooga and clear across Moore County.
DesJarlais was the only one of Tennessee’s nine incumbent House members to face a serious challenge in the general election.
He had little trouble on Tuesday, however.
In Moore County, DesJarlais, a Jasper physician who now opposes abortion rights, claimed 1,118 votes (64 percent) to just 551 for Sherrell, who is a retired accountant from Monteagle.
“When I first ran for office, I pledged to be an independent conservative voice that would stand up to the Washington establishment and always vote in the interest of hardworking Tennesseans,” DesJarlais said in a statement. “I look forward to continuing our fight.”
***** At press time Tuesday night, in the race for Tennessee’s House of Rep. 39th District, incumbent David Alexander had a comfortable lead over new comer Matthew Huffer, a Moore County democrat. Alexander received 1,105 votes in Moore County, while Huffer received 586. Results from the eastern part of the district were not available at press time.