Home News The Latest: GOP Sen. Brian Kelsey defeats Gabby Salinas.

The Latest: GOP Sen. Brian Kelsey defeats Gabby Salinas.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Latest on Tennessee’s general election (all times local):

12:15 a.m.

Republican state Sen. Brian Kelsey, who chairs Tennessee’s powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, has fended off a challenge from Gabby Salinas.

Republicans were so worried about Kelsey losing the race that they spent $300,000 on ads to make sure the seat didn’t turn blue.

“Tonight’s victory by Chairman Kelsey proves a record of practical conservative success wins every time, Lt. Gov. Randy McNally said in a statement. “Brian laid out his record and made his case. The voters responded.”

Kelsey is from Germantown.

Salinas, a former researcher at St. Jude Children’s Hospital, is a democratic newcomer and cancer survivor. Her parents brought her to St. Jude from Bolivia when she was 7. She campaigned on expanding Medicaid, having more background checks for gun buyers and improving infrastructure.

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11:10 p.m.

The seat held by outgoing minority leader Craig Fitzhugh has turned red, with Republican Chris Hurt beating Democrat Andrea Bond-Johnson. Fitzhugh backed Bond-Johnson in the race for House District 82 in West Tennessee.

Hurt is a former teacher and football coach who owns a real estate company and ran a campaign focusing on less government regulations for farmers and small businesses. He touted his endorsements from the National Rifle Association and Tennessee Right to Life.

Bond-Johnson is CEO of an insurance agency who campaigned on expanding Medicaid, giving more resources to teachers and better pay for workers.

Fitzhugh stepped down to run for governor, but lost in the Democratic primary to Karl Dean.

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11:10 p.m.

Republican Sen. Mark Pody handily beat Democrat Mary Alice Carfi this time. But the senator from Lebanon who represents District 17, barely beat Carfi in a special election in December. The special election was held to replace Sen. Mae Beavers so she could run for governor.

Pody only won by a few hundred votes in the special election. A top Republican strategist called it a wake-up call to engage voters afterward. As of Tuesday evening, he had a large lead with 100 percent of precincts reporting.

The district spans Cannon, DeKalb, Smith, Clay and Macon Counties.

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10:40 p.m.

Democrat Bob Freeman has won the historically Republican seat that was held by state House Speaker Beth Harwell for 30 years.

Freeman is a real estate professional and son of wealthy Democratic donor Bill Freeman. He beat Dr. Brent Moody, a Republican who is a skin cancer surgeon, for House District 56. The district encompasses a wealthy area of Nashville. Throughout the campaign, Moody referred to himself at reasonable, responsible and respectful.

Harwell gave up her seat to run for governor. She lost in the Republican primary.

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10:30 p.m.

Democrat Gloria Johnson has unseated Republican Eddie Smith in House District 13 in Knoxville. The two candidates have been duking it out for years. Johnson held the seat when Smith beat her in 2014 and then he beat her again in 2016 by only about 300 votes.

Johnson, a retired Knox County public school teacher, vowed that if she were elected to the seat again she would fight for schools, higher wages and affordable health care.

Smith, who is in event production management, is the vice-chair of the House Administration and Planning Committee. He thanked his supporters after conceding the race on Tuesday.

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10:15 p.m.

Rep. David Byrd has been re-elected to the Tennessee House despite being targeted by a national campaign to keep politicians accused of sexual misconduct out of office.

Byrd, a Republican from Waynesboro, represents House District 71. He easily won his third term by beating Democrat Frankie G. Floied.

Byrd is a former high school basketball coach. Three women who were his former players accused him of sexual misconduct while they were in high school in a media report that aired in March. Republican leaders in the Legislature called for his resignation after the TV news report.

Byrd did not outright deny the allegations, but he said he was sorry if he hurt or emotionally upset any of his students.

The Republican was targeted by the Enough is Enough Project, which aims to raise money to keep candidates accused of sexual misconduct from holding office

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10:05 p.m.

Nashville voters have passed a referendum that will create a community oversight board to investigate allegations of police misconduct. Activists got enough signatures to force the measure on the ballot following the deaths of two African-American men who were killed by white officers.

The local police union opposed the measure, saying it would rob officers of due process rights. Nashville Mayor David Briley also came out against the community oversight board. A spokeswoman for Briley told The Tennessean newspaper that the mayor does support community oversight, but he didn’t like the language on the ballot. The mayor vowed to implement it fairly and quickly if it were to pass.

The oversight board is to consist of 11 members, none of whom can be in law enforcement.

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9:22 p.m.

Republican Marsha Blackburn has won a grueling, expensive contest to become the first female U.S. senator from Tennessee.

The congresswoman defeated Democratic former Gov. Phil Bredesen on Tuesday by closely aligning her bid with President Donald Trump, who made three visits to the state for her.

Blackburn has sought to undermine Bredesen’s reputation as an independent thinker by tying him to national Democrats at every turn. Blackburn was first elected to the House in 2002 and has called herself a “hardcore, card-carrying Tennessee conservative.”

The race set a state record in spending among the campaigns and outside groups interested because of its implications for the GOP’s 51-49 Senate majority.

Blackburn will replace retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker. She represents a rightward shift from Corker and other more centrist senators that Tennessee has historically elected.

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9:10 p.m.

Democratic incumbent Steve Cohen is returning to the U.S. House to represent Memphis, Tennessee.

Cohen beat Republican Charlotte Bergmann, who had no opponent in the GOP primary. Cohen will be serving his seventh term representing the majority-Democrat, majority-black city of Memphis.

A vocal critic of President Donald Trump, Cohen has defeated Bergmann twice before, winning by a landslide both times.

Cohen is one of six incumbents who were seeking re-election in Tennessee. He and Jim Cooper of Nashville are the only two Democrats among the state’s nine U.S. House members.

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9:10 p.m.

Longtime U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee has defeated Republican challenger Jody Ball for a return to the U.S. House

The Nashville Democrat was considered a lock to win his 9th term representing the solidly Democratic District 5. He is one of six incumbents seeking a return to Washington to represent Tennessee in Congress.

He and Steve Cohen of Memphis are the only two Democrats in Tennessee’s congressional delegation. The attorney and businessman received a high-profile endorsement from singer Taylor Swift.

Cooper has said during his campaign that has worked hard to protect the Affordable Care Act and has pushed Tennessee to expand Medicaid. He serves on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Armed Services Committee.

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8:20 p.m.

Tennessee Republican Scott DesJarlais has won a fifth term in Congress with a victory over Democrat Mariah Phillips.

The South Pittsburg physician was considered the favorite to win the race in District 4, which includes the Nashville suburb of Smyrna, the city of Murfreesboro and several southeast Tennessee counties. DesJarlais was one of six incumbents seeking a return to the U.S. House in Tennessee.

DesJarlais now opposes abortion rights, but he has faced a series of personal scandals that included affairs with patients, urging a mistress to seek an abortion and once holding a gun in his mouth for hours outside his ex-wife’s room.

DesJarlais serves on the House Armed Services committee and has said he supports strong border control and reducing taxes for families and small business.

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8:20 p.m.

Republican farmer John Rose has defeated Democrat doctor Dawn Barlow for one of three open Tennessee seats in the U.S. House.

Rose is a farmer who will step into the seat left open when Republican Diane Black decided to run for governor.

District 6 is located in the mostly rural northern part of the state.

Rose is a conservative and business owner who supports President Donald Trump and is staunchly against the Affordable Care Act. Barlow says costs tied to the act must be lowered and she supports increasing the federal minimum wage, pay equality and protecting workers’ rights.

Both candidates know each other well. They live not far from each other in Overton County.

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8:20 p.m.

Republican Mark Green has won one of three open U.S. House seats in Tennessee.

Green is a state senator from Ashland City who will represent the 19 counties in District 7. The district includes the population centers of Williamson County and the city of Clarksville, in addition to a wide swath of rural middle and west Tennessee.

Green replaces Republican Marsha Blackburn. She vacated the House seat when she made the move to run for U.S. Senate.

Green defeated Democrat Justin Kanew, a film producer and former “Amazing Race” contestant.

Kanew has never been elected to public office. Green withdrew from consideration for secretary of the Army last year after he was heavily criticized over his remarks about Muslims, and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans.

8:05 p.m.

Republican incumbent Chuck Fleischmann will retain his U.S. House seat in Tennessee with a win over Democrat Danielle Mitchell.

Fleischmann was a heavy favorite to win the District 3 race and return for a fifth term in Congress.

The Ooltewah Republican’s district winds from the Kentucky state line in northeast Tennessee to Chattanooga in the south. Fleischmann is one of six incumbents seeking a return to Washington to represent Tennessee in the U.S. House.

Fleischmann currently serves on the House Committee on Appropriations.

Mitchell is a doctor from Hixson.

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8:05 p.m.

Republican incumbent David Kustoff is returning to U.S. House for a second term representing west Tennessee.

Kustoff defeated Democrat Erika Stotts Pearson in the contest to for the House seat in District 8. The district includes suburban Shelby County and parts of 14 other rural counties.

Kustoff is a former U.S. attorney and a strong supporter of President Donald Trump. He was one of six House incumbents seeking re-election in Tennessee.

He held off a primary election challenge in the solidly-GOP district from Republican doctor and radio station owner George Flinn.

8:05 p.m.

Republican Tim Burchett has defeated Democrat Renee Hoyos in the race for an open U.S. House seat in east Tennessee

Burchett was considered the favorite over Hoyos in the solidly Republican district. He raised three times more money than Hoyos, who has served as the executive director of the Tennessee Clean Water Network.

The former Knox County mayor will replace retiring Congressman John Duncan Jr. Duncan was first elected in 1988 to the District 2 seat held by his father for more than two decades.

Burchett also has served in the state House and state Senate. He said during his campaign that he wants to improve health care and help the country gain more energy independence.

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7:55 p.m.

Republican incumbent Phil Roe has won a sixth term in the U.S. House with a victory over Democrat Marty Olsen.

Roe was heavily favored to retain his seat representing District 1 in east Tennessee. He’s among six incumbents who were seeking to return to Washington to represent Tennessee in Congress.

Olsen was the lone Democrat to run in the district primary. He is a physician from Jonesborough.

Re-election committees for Congressmen Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise gave money to Roe’s campaign. Roe has touted Congress’ passing of President Donald Trump’s tax reform bill and a good national economy as reasons for his re-election.

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7:40 p.m.

Republican businessman and political newcomer Bill Lee will become Tennessee’s next governor, replacing outgoing GOP Gov. Bill Haslam.

Lee won Tuesday’s election against former Democratic Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.

Lee is chairman of a Franklin mechanical contracting, facilities and home services company. His positive campaigning and religious faith became defining characteristics of his election bid, although he’s faced criticism for not providing specific details on key policy positions.

Lee has promised to work to fix the state’s health care system, saying it may take 15 to 20 years. Unlike Dean, the Republican said he would ultimately lobby the Tennessee Legislature to vote against Medicaid expansion, should lawmakers ever get close to doing so.

Lee also says he supports school choice, a position his opponents say will result in school vouchers.

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4 p.m.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn says she’s received a “tremendous response” statewide and said she thinks she will win her tough contest in Tennessee.

In an Election Day stop in Clarksville, Blackburn told reporters on Tuesday that her campaign has been running “full-steam ahead” since President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence held a Chattanooga rally for her Sunday.

The congresswoman is locked in a hard-fought race against Democratic former Gov. Phil Bredesen, who cast his vote Tuesday. Blackburn cast her ballot during early voting.

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Noon

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Phil Bredesen has cast his vote in Nashville.

While at his polling place Tuesday, Bredesen said it was an important day that is not just about a Democrat and a Republican but about two different visions for the job.

After casting his ballot, he addressed reporters outside the polling place and said although Tennessee is a very red state, he thinks his campaign is in good shape.

Bredesen is running against Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn for Tennessee’s open U.S. Senate seat in the state’s top race.

Meanwhile, Republican businessman Bill Lee and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean are vying to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

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9:10 a.m.

An election official in Tennessee’s largest county says one precinct did not open on time but all polling places are now up and running.

Shelby County Election Commission Chairman Robert Meyers said the single precinct that did not open on time at 7 a.m. was operational shortly afterward.

Meyers’ information contradicted a tweet from the county elections commission that says “all sites opened on time.”

Shelby County is being closely watched by voting rights advocates and some campaigns over concerns about voter registrations, the security of outdated electronic voting machines and other election-related issues.

Polls close at 7 p.m. in Shelby County.

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8 a.m.

Tennessee election officials are expecting high turnout as voters cast ballots for governor, the U.S. Senate and House on Tuesday.

Coordinator of Elections Mark Goins said polling places are open despite power outages Tuesday morning in some areas of Middle and East Tennessee. He said paper ballots are available at those locations.

Polls open at different hours across the state, but all will close at 8 p.m. ET.

The top race in Tennessee is between Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn and Democrat Phil Bredesen for Tennessee’s open U.S. Senate seat.

Meanwhile, Republican businessman Bill Lee and former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean are vying to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Bill Haslam.

Voters can download the GoVoteTN app to view specific information about their polling locations, hours and sample ballots.

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For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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