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A look ahead at 2014 congressional elections in Tennessee

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July 31, 2013


By Maresa Strano

Nashville, Tennessee: In 2014, voters in Tennessee will elect ten candidates to serve in the U.S. Congress- including one to the U.S. Senate and nine to the U.S. House. Heading into the 2014 election cycle, seven of the nine total congressional district seats are held by Republicans, as are both of Tennessee's U.S. Senate seats, one of which will be up for grabs next year. The primary election is scheduled for August 7, 2014, followed by a general election on November 4, 2014.

The candidate filing deadline is not set to arrive until April of 2014, but here's an early look at a few 2014 Tennessee congressional races which have already attracted some interest as of July 2013:

U.S. Senate

See also: United States Senate elections in Tennessee, 2014

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R) was first elected to the Senate in 2002. Alexander has stated his intention to seek re-election to a potential third term in 2014.

Previously, Alexander served as the Governor of Tennessee and as the U.S. Secretary of Education.[1]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Alexander is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.

So far, Alexander has drawn one primary challenger: Brenda Lenard, a tea party activist and 2012 candidate.[2][3] Hoping to re-claim the seat for the Democratic Party, psychologist and fellow unsuccessful 2012 candidate Larry Crim has also announced his bid to unseat Alexander in 2014.

Tennessee's 2nd Congressional District

See also: Tennessee's 2nd Congressional District elections, 2014

Despite Republican incumbent Rep. John J. Duncan, Jr. landslide re-election victory in 2012, Telecom Sales Agent Jason Zachary has already begun fundraising in earnest for his campaign to oust Duncan in the GOP primary election next August. Zachary's July quarterly reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show he raised almost $35,000 between April 1 and June 30, compared to Duncan's $54,000 raised in the last quarter. Zachary's prospects look much bleaker however in term of cash on hand, where he trails Duncan by over $1.5 million.[4][5]

Tennessee's 4th Congressional District

See also: Tennessee's 4th Congressional District elections, 2014

District 4 incumbent Scott DesJarlais (R) plans to run for re-election in 2014, although he is not due to formally launch his campaign until early August.[6]

DesJarlais, first elected to the U.S. House in 2010, is a self-professed pro-life advocate whose conservative credibility has been marred this past year by abortion-related revelations from his personal and professional life. The scandals have made his seat seem more ripe for the taking by intra-party challengers. Thus far, two prominent Republicans have entered the race- Tennessee Sen. Jim Tracy and state Rep. Joe Carr.[6] Both state lawmakers have far outpaced DesJarlais in campaign donations according to the most recent FEC report filings.[7]

See also

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