President Trump Endorses Bill Lee for Tenn. Gov.


Diane Black, essentially cast her aside Friday after she lost a Republican gubernatorial primary in Tennessee.

The two-way race on the Democratic side between former Mayor Karl Dean of Nashville and state House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh has been placid in comparison; Dean is favored to win.

Lee won a resounding 13 point victory in Thursday's primary, receiving 37 percent of the votes cast, nearly 100,000 more votes than second place finisher, Knoxville businessman Randy Boyd, who received 24 percent of the vote.

For the House, keep an eye on the 2nd, 6th and 7th districts, all of which have open seats that are now held by Republicans. Black, for her part, played a key role in the passage of the president's signature Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December as the chairman of the House Budget Committee. He also told reporters that he has a good relationship with former Gov. Bredesen but that "this is about who I think would be the best person to represent Tennessee in Washington". He mostly stayed out of the fray while other opponents savaged each other in attack ads.

Blackburn would be the first woman Tennessee ever elected to the Senate. He told his supporters Thursday he meant to run a positive race focused on jobs, affordable health care and good education. It's time to end trash politics in Tennessee.

"She's in a big race".

Bredesen was the last Democrat to pull that off, winning all 95 counties in his 2006 gubernatorial re-election.

Any Democratic nominee for either governor or senator would need the support of moderate Republicans and independents.

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Lee called himself the race's only conservative outsider and focused heavily on his Christian beliefs.

Blackburn bills herself as a "hardcore, card-carrying Tennessee conservative". "The people of Tennessee look to us for that leadership". "Good luck, Diane", he said.

Bredesen has countered that his record as governor shows he's an independent thinker who won't cave to party leaders. She has run in support of Trump's agenda, including his wall-building immigration crackdown and his U.S. Supreme Court pick, Brett Kavanaugh.

Blackburn has expressed "grave concern" about the tariffs, but said she appreciates the administration's goal of punishing bad actors like China.

Meanwhile, former Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen and Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn face only nominal primary opposition in their race to replace retiring Republican Sen.

Corker also has publicly tussled with Trump, once saying the president had turned the White House into an "adult day care center".

Dean had a huge advantage in campaign cash, outspending Fitzhugh $4.4 million to $984,800.