Ex-Nashville mayor Dean wins Tennessee Dem gov primary

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Four candidates who have spent tens of millions of dollars of their own wealth fighting over who is more devoted to President Donald Trump are facing off in the Republican primary for Tennessee governor.

Diane Dimel said Thursday outside her Nashville polling place that though she's a registered Republican and cast her ballot for Harwell in the governor race, she probably won't vote that way in the general election.

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn is strongly embracing President Donald Trump as she claims the Republican nomination for Tennessee's open U.S. Senate seat.

And finally candidate Dean addressed the media, where Julie inquired as to his interest in addressing social issues such as LGBT rights in the run-up to November's election. He and Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn have been eying a November head-to-head matchup for months.

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.

In the governor's race, Democratic former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean touts himself as a leader like Bredesen who can break down partisan barriers and work with a Republican legislature during divisive political times. The race could cut into a slim Republican Senate majority. It's time to end trash politics in Tennessee.

The candidates running for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate are former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen, Gary Davis and John Wolfe.

Blackburn has billed herself as a "hardcore, card-carrying Tennessee conservative" from the outset of her campaign.

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Trump did visit the state in May to stump for Blackburn - who spoke at his rally - but barely mentioned the Republican gubernatorial candidate.

"Whereas [Democratic candidate] Phil Bredesen is a poster child for the failed Obama policies of the past, Marsha is a champion for the conservative reforms that Tennesseans overwhelmingly supported in 2016".

If Blackburn wins in the fall, she would be the first woman from Tennessee to serve in the US Senate.

"She's in a big race", Trump said.

- Three House districts have open seats now held by Republicans.

Bredesen has countered that his record as governor shows he's an independent thinker who won't cave to party leaders.

Tennessee has a history of electing centrist senators. Corker, for one, has further complicated the race by saying he's supporting Blackburn but won't actively campaign against Bredesen, whom he has called a friend. But Bredesen would be one of the wealthiest members of Congress if elected and has already loaned $3.5 million of his own money to his campaign.

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