Read the State Legislative Tracker. New edition available now!

Legislative Lowdown: Identifying competitive Tennessee elections in 2014

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

April 18, 2014

Seal of Tennessee.png
2014 Tennessee Legislative Lowdown

Table of Contents
Majority control
Margin of victory
Competitiveness

Other 2014 Election coverage
Ballot measuresState executive officialsSchool boards
State legislaturesU.S. HouseU.S. Senate

By Ballotpedia's State legislative team

Two former legislators defeated in 2012 are running to regain their seats in 2014. Jim Cobb (R), who held the District 31 seat from 2007 to 2012, will face current incumbent Ron Travis (R) in a Republican primary rematch. Travis won his party's nomination in 2012 by just 103 votes, or 1.2% of the total votes cast. District 60 representative from 2010 to 2012, Jim Gotto (R), will get a general election rematch with current incumbent Darren Jernigan (D) barring unforeseen circumstances with each unopposed in his respective primary. Jernigan won in 2012 by only 95 votes, which was just 0.4% of all votes cast. A former state senator, Kerry Roberts (R), is running for election this year. He represented District 18 from March 2011 until the 2012 election, when he chose not to run for re-election. He is challenging incumbent Jim Summerville (R) for his District 25 seat.

April 3 was the signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run for Tennessee State Senate and Tennessee House of Representatives. Elections in 17 Senate districts and 99 House districts will consist of a primary election on August 7, 2014, and a general election on November 4, 2014.

See also: 2014's state legislative elections, Tennessee State Senate elections and Tennessee House of Representatives elections

Majority control

Heading into the November 4 election, the Republican Party holds a majority in both state legislative chambers. Tennessee's office of Governor is held by Bill Haslam (R), making the state one of 23 with a Republican state government trifecta.

The difference in partisan composition between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate is 19 seats, or 112 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. There are 14 districts where two major party candidates will appear on the general election ballot.[1]

Tennessee State Senate
Party As of October 2014 After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 6 Pending
     Republican Party 26 Pending
     Vacancy 1 Pending
Total 33 33

The difference in partisan composition between Democrats and Republicans in the House is 44 seats, or 44.4 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. There are 39 districts where two major party candidates will appear on the general election ballot.[2]

Tennessee House of Representatives
Party As of October 2014 After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 27 Pending
     Republican Party 71 Pending
     Carter County Republican 1 Pending
Total 99 99
2015
2013
2014 badge.jpg
2014 State Legislative Elections

States
AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming

Other 2014 Election coverage
Ballot access for major and minor party candidatesStatewide elections, 2014State Senate electionsState House electionsState executive official elections, 20142014 ballot measures

Margin of victory

Senate

16 seats in the Senate were up for election in 2012. None of those districts are up for election in 2014.

House

All 99 seats in the House were up for election in 2012. Six of those districts held competitive elections with a margin of victory ranging from 0 to 5 percent. Another four districts held mildly competitive elections with a margin of victory between 5 and 10 percent.[2]

The districts with elections in 2014 which held competitive or mildly competitive elections in 2012 are:

Competitive

  • District 13: Incumbent Gloria Johnson (D) will face off against the winner of the Republican primary in the general election. Jason Emert will face Eddie Smith in the Republican primary. Johnson won the general election by a margin of victory of 1 percent in 2012.
  • District 33: Incumbent John Ragan will face Caitlin Nolan in the Republican primary. The winner of the Republican primary will face off against Misty Neergaard (D) in the general election. Ragan won the general election by a margin of victory of 3 percent in 2012.
  • District 43: Kevin Dunlap will face Kristopher Gore and James Thomas Jacobs in the Democratic primary. The winner of the Democratic primary will face off against Robert F. Dunham (R) in the general election. Incumbent Paul Bailey (R) won the general election by a margin of victory of 3 percent in 2012.
  • District 50: Incumbent Bo Mitchell (D) will face Troy Brewer (R) in the general election. Mitchell won the general election by a margin of victory of 0.6 percent in 2012.
  • District 60: Incumbent Darren Jernigan (D) will face Jim Gotto (R) in the general election. Jernigan won the general election by a margin of victory of 0.4 percent in 2012.
  • District 74: Incumbent John Tidwell (D) will face off against the winner of the Republican primary in the general election. Jay Reedy will face Keith Svadba in the Republican primary. Tidwell won the general election by a margin of victory of 5 percent in 2012.

Mildly competitive

  • District 4: Rob Martin (D) will face off against the winner of the Republican primary in the general election. John Holsclaw, Jr. will face Judy Veeneman in the Republican primary. Incumbent Kent Williams (R) won the general election by a margin of victory of 7 percent in 2012.
  • District 53: Incumbent Jason Powell (D) will face John Wang (R) in the general election. Powell won the general election by a margin of victory of 9 percent in 2012.
  • District 70: Incumbent Barry Doss (R) is unopposed in the Republican primary and the general election. Doss won the general election by a margin of victory of 6 percent in 2012.
  • District 76: Incumbent Andrew H. Holt (R) will face Joyce Washington (D) in the general election. Holt won the general election by a margin of victory of 9 percent in 2012.

Competitiveness

Using the official candidate lists from each state, Ballotpedia staff analyzes each district's election to look at the following circumstances:

  • Is the incumbent running for re-election?
  • If an incumbent is running, do they face a primary challenger?
  • Are both major parties represented on the general election ballot?

In Tennessee's 2014 elections, those circumstances break down as follows:[3]

  • There are 12 open seats (10.3%) in the two chambers.
  • A total of 26 incumbents (25.0%) face a primary challenger.
  • 47 districts (40.5%) will feature a Democratic and Republican candidate on the general election ballot.

The following table puts the 2014 data into historical context. Overall index is calculated as the average of the three circumstances.

Comparing Tennessee Competitiveness over the Years
Year  % Incs retiring  % incs rank  % Incs facing primary  % Incs primary rank  % seats with 2 MPC  % seats with 2 MPC rank Overall Index Overall Index Rank
2010 8.6% 40 12.3% 34 57.8% 31 26.2 45
2012 17.4% 29 37.8% 9 53.9% 29 36.4 25
2014 10.3% Pending 25.0% Pending 40.5% Pending 25.3 Pending

Senate

The following table details competitiveness in the Tennessee State Senate.

Tennessee Senate Competitiveness
 % Incs retiring  % Incs facing primary  % seats with 2 MPC Overall Index
17.6% 41.1% 41.1% 33.3

Candidates unopposed by a major party

In 8 (47%) of the 17 districts up for election in 2014, there is only one major party candidate running for election. A total of 9 Republicans are guaranteed election in November barring unforeseen circumstances.

Two major party candidates will face off in the general election in 14 (82.3%) of the 17 districts up for election.

Primary challenges

A total of 7 incumbents will face primary competition on August 7. Three incumbents are not seeking re-election in 2014 and another 8 incumbents will advance past the primary without opposition. The state senators facing primary competition are:

Retiring incumbents

Three incumbent senators, all Democrats, are not running for re-election, while 14 (82.4%) are running for re-election. Those retiring incumbents are:

Name Party Current Office
Charlotte Burks Electiondot.png Democratic Senate District 15
Douglas Henry Electiondot.png Democratic Senate District 21
Lowe Finney Electiondot.png Democratic Senate District 27

House

The following table details competitiveness in the Tennessee House of Representatives.

Tennessee House Competitiveness
 % Incs retiring  % Incs facing primary  % seats with 2 MPC Overall Index
9.1% 19.2% 40.4% 22.9

Candidates unopposed by a major party

In 59 (59.6%) of the 99 districts up for election in 2014, there is only one major party candidate running for election. A total of 15 Democrats and 44 Republicans are guaranteed election in November barring unforeseen circumstances.

Two major party candidates will face off in the general election in 40 (40.4%) of the 99 districts up for election.

Primary challenges

A total of 21 incumbents will face primary competition on August 7. Nine incumbents are not seeking re-election in 2014 and another 70 incumbents will advance past the primary without opposition. The representatives facing primary competition are:

Retiring incumbents

Eight incumbent representatives, one Democrat and seven Republicans, are not running for re-election, while 91 (91.9%) are running for re-election. Those retiring incumbents are:

Name Party Current Office
Kent Williams Ends.png Republican House District 4
Eric Watson Ends.png Republican House District 22
Richard Floyd Ends.png Republican House District 27
Vince Dean Ends.png Republican House District 30
Paul Bailey Ends.png Republican House District 43
Joe Carr Ends.png Republican House District 48
Michael Turner Electiondot.png Democratic House District 51
Joshua Evans Ends.png Republican House District 66
Barrett Rich Ends.png Republican House District 94

See also

External links

References