NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Voters head to the polls for the August 4 state and federal primary election. On the ballot this election are primaries for governor, U.S. House of Representatives, Tennessee Senate, and Tennessee House of Representatives, among others.

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Here are the races to watch this cycle:

U.S. TN-5

The fifth Congressional district for Tennessee is up for grabs following the retirement of Congressman Jim Cooper (D-Nashville), who announced he would not seek another term in office after 32 years. Cooper opposed the Tennessee General Assembly’s redistricting plan, which he said was “dismembering Nashville.”

Nine Republicans are vying for the nod to take on Democrat Heidi Campbell for Cooper’s former seat, which will now include only the southern portion of Davidson County, as well as parts of Wilson and Williamson counties and all of Lewis, Maury, and Marshall counties.

Campbell is a member of the Tennessee state senate, representing District 20. She is unopposed in her primary.

Republicans hoping to take on Campbell include businesswoman and first-time candidate Geni Batchelor, former U.S. Army aviator and combat veteran Jeff Beierlein, Christian homeschool academy director Natisha Brooks, former Tennessee State Rep. Beth Harwell, paramedic Timothy Bruce Lee, Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles, Nashville real estate developer Stewart Parks, Brig. Gen. (Ret) Kurt Winstead, and Tennessee General Assembly staffer Tres Wittum.

TN Senate District 19

Another race to watch is for the Tennessee Senate District 19, which is currently held by State Sen. Brenda Gilmore (D-Nashville). Gilmore announced she would retire from her seat in April.

There are five Democratic contenders in the primary who are vying to take on the lone Republican, Pime Hernandez. Those candidates are former Metro Councilmember Jerry Maynard, former Metro councilmember Ludye Wallace, social justice advocate Charlane Oliver, Barry Barlow and Rossi Turner, though Turner has endorsed Oliver for the seat.

Three Independent candidates will join the primary winners on the ballot in November.


While Governor Bill Lee is unopposed in the Republican primary, three Democrats are hoping to be the one to take him on in the general election in November.

Nashville physician Jason Martin, Memphis Councilmember and lawyer JB Smiley Jr., and Memphis advocate Dr. Carnita Atwater are all seeking the Democratic nomination.

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The primary winners will be joined by a field of eight Independents in November.