By Michelle Price
Special to the UCBJ
UPPER CUMBERLAND – Despite the threat of COVID-19, voters across the Upper Cumberland turned out to Thursday to cast votes in some of the most hotly contested races of recent years.
Former U. S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty secured the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, taking nearly 51% of the vote over Vanderbilt Trauma Surgeon Dr. Manny Sethi with just under 40% in a crowded field of challengers.
Hagerty, who is also a former Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development commissioner, will take on Marquita Bradshaw, an organizer involved in statewide efforts for environmental group Sierra Club, who won the Democratic primary with 35.5% of the vote over Robin Kimbrough, who garnered 26.6%.
Incumbent Scott DesJarlais received 71.1% of the vote over Doug Meyer (18.3%) and Randy Sharp (10.7%) and will be the Republican nominee for the U.S. House District 4 seat. He will take on Democrat Christopher Hale who received 58.9% of the vote over Noelle Bivens (41.1%).
Incumbent John Rose was unopposed in the Republican primary for U.S. House District 6 seat. He will take on Democrat Christopher Finley, who also ran unopposed.
In state races, incumbent Ryan Williams won the contested race for the Republican nomination for TN House District 42 with 69.9% of the vote to Dennis Bynum’s 30.1%. Williams will be unopposed in the November election.
Incumbent Paul Sherrell, with 47.9% of the vote, won the contested Republican primary for TN House District 43 over Jerry Lowery with 27.2% and Bobby Robinson with 24.9% of the vote. Sherrell will be unopposed in November.
Incumbent Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton will take on Democrat Robyn Deck for the TN House District 25 seat in November.
Republican incumbent Kelly Keisling will take on Democrat Carol Abney for TN House District 38 in November.
In TN House District 40, Republican Terri Lynn Weaver of Lancaster ran unopposed in the primary and faces Independent Paddy Sizemore in November.
Incumbent John Mark Windle of Livingston was unopposed in the TN House District 41 Democratic Primary and will remain unopposed in November.
Locally, J.J. Reels (57.06%) defeated incumbent Bill Wiggins (42.34%) to win the Monterey Mayoral race.
Incumbent Steve Pierce (81.8%) defeated Lewis Tommaso (18.58%) to remain the Putnam Assessor of Property.
Dustin J Stanton (37.89%) and Jeff Herald (36.08%) defeated Ben Brewington (25.77%) for the two open spots on the Baxter City Council.
Luke Hill (33.24%) and Ronald Stephen Graves (30.95%) were elected to the Algood City Council edging out former Mayor Patt M. Judd (20.42%) and Tim McPherson (14.77%).
James “Coonie” Foster, with 55.97% of the vote, edged out James Wolfgram, receiving 43.42%, to fill the Monterey Ward 3 Alderman seat.
All other races in Putnam County were unopposed.