Andy Ogles wins GOP primary for Tennessee's 5th district
Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles won a fiercely contested Republican primary for Tennessee’s 5th congressional district, which includes part of Nashville.
- Ogles' victory was powered by rural and suburban voters who were drawn into the district earlier this year, dramatically changing the contours of the race.
Former House Speaker Beth Harwell, a political institution in Tennessee, came in second despite a strong showing in Davidson County.
- Retired National Guard Brig. Gen. Kurt Winstead finished third.
Why it matters: State Republicans redrew District 5 to favor conservative candidates during the redistricting process earlier this year. The new boundaries eliminated a reliable Democratic seat and made Ogles the presumptive favorite to represent the southern part of Davidson County — as well as five other counties drawn into the district — in Congress.
The intrigue: The candidates spent the final weeks of the race trying to establish their conservative bona fides in the face of a barrage of negative TV ads.
- Ogles, whose work as a conservative activist drove his political ascent, called himself “Tennessee’s most conservative mayor.”
By the numbers: Ogles had 37% of the vote, according to totals reported late Thursday night. He bested Harwell by 11 points.
What he's saying: "This was the establishment versus the conservative wing of the party," Ogles said.
- "By darn, the conservatives won."
The other side: State Sen. Heidi Campbell, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, made a pitch for unity in a statement last night, criticizing what she called "divisive attacks" from "extreme politicians."
- "I've won every race I’ve ever run by staying focused on solutions for families — not partisan politics," Campbell said.
Flashback: U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, the longtime Democratic incumbent in District 5, announced his retirement in January after the new map was released.
What's next: Ogles and Campbell will square off in the general election for District 5 on Nov. 8.
Zoom out: Two other congressional districts will represent other parts of Nashville under the redrawn map. Both favor the Republican incumbents.
- U.S. Rep John Rose will face District 6 Democratic primary winner Randal Cooper in November.
- Republican U.S. Rep Mark Green will run against Democrat Odessa Kelly in the District 7 race. They ran unopposed in their respective primaries.
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