Tags: US | Tenn | Congress

Congressman Survives Race-Focused TN Primary

Friday, 06 Aug 2010 07:27 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

The former longtime mayor of Memphis, who unabashedly campaigned for voters to send him to Congress because he is black, was overwhelmingly defeated by the white incumbent in Thursday's Democratic primary.

And in the country's most expensive U.S. House race, farmer and gospel performer Steve Fincher won the GOP primary.

Willie Herenton, Memphis' first black elected mayor, pushed the race angle throughout his campaign for the 9th District, saying he's more representative of majority-black Memphis than U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, who is white and Jewish. Herenton had said he wanted to diversify Tennessee's all-white, 11-member congressional delegation.

But with 78 percent of precincts reporting, Cohen had 54,897 votes, or 79 percent, to Herenton's 14,254 or 21 percent.

Cohen said his victory sends a message that "Memphis is a city on the move and not a city of the past."

Herenton urged his supporters to back Cohen. Before Thursday, the 70-year-old Herenton had never lost a political race and served 4 1/2 terms as mayor before retiring under the cloud of a federal corruption investigation, which now appears to be over. Cohen, a two-term congressman, countered Herenton's tactics with endorsements from President Barack Obama and Harold Ford Sr., the first black elected to the seat and senior member of a powerful political family.

"I'm the kind of guy that was always the winner. For whatever reason, it was not part of God's master plan," Herenton said.

Democrats have held the seat for more than three decades and Cohen will be the heavy favorite to win in November.

In the 8th District, the three GOP candidates waged the most expensive House race in the country, spending more than $5 million. Memphis radiologist and broadcaster George Flinn poured nearly $3 million of his own money into his bid, while physician Ron Kirkland benefited from the heavy support of his brother Robert, the co-founder of national home decor retailer Kirkland's Inc.

Fincher, the GOP establishment choice and a farmer, was criticized by his rivals for collecting $3.2 million farm subsidies. Kirkland's campaign cited U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics showing that 10 percent of the wealthiest farmers receive nearly three-quarters of all farm subsidies.

Fincher deflected the criticism by arguing that he had nothing to do with the way the current system for supporting farmers was set up, and that he supports unspecified reform of the complicated program.

With 68 percent of precincts reporting, Fincher had 30,228 votes, or 50 percent of the vote, to Kirkland's 14,873, or 25 percent, and Flinn had 13,431 votes, or 22 percent.

Fincher faces Democratic state Sen. Roy Herron in fall in the northwest Tennessee district. Incumbent Democratic Rep. John Tanner is retiring, and Republicans think the seat is one they could pick up in November.

The contentious GOP primary in the 6th District east of Nashville to succeed retiring Democratic U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon, state Sen. Diane Black beat out fellow senator Jim Tracy and party activist and businesswoman Lou Ann Zelenik.

In southeast Tennessee's 3rd District, Chattanooga attorney Chuck Fleishmann, who was endorsed by former GOP presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, has beaten state GOP chairwoman Robin Smith.

Three congressional incumbents — Republicans Jimmy Duncan and Marsha Blackburn and Democrat Lincoln Davis faced no primary opposition.

——

Associated Press writers Lucas L. Johnson II in Nashville and Bill Poovey in Chattanooga contributed to this story.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Republicans Court Asian-American Voters

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 11:57 AM

With most of the media attention focused on the impact of Latinos and African-Americans in the 2014 midterms, Republican . . .

RNC's Reince Priebus: GOP Creating 'Universe of Targets'

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 11:44 AM

To prepare for this year’s midterms and beyond, the GOP has been hard at work using technology and other tools to identi . . .

Publicly Undecided, Behind the Scenes Hillary Builds Toward 2016

Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 11:00 AM

The hotly-contested Senate race between Republican Joni Ernst and Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley holds the focus for most  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved