Williamson easily favors incumbents in federal, state races


Williamson easily favors incumbents in federal, state races

By JESSICA PACE and JONTHAN ROMEO

In the Nov. 4 general election, Williamson County favored incumbents in the federal and state level races, including the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and the State Senate and State House of Representatives.

In the Nov. 4 general election, Williamson County favored incumbents in the federal and state level races, including the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and the State Senate and State House of Representatives.

An overwhelming majority of Williamson County voters – 44,342 – reelected 7th District U.S. Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) by a 74.11 percent vote.

“I appreciate the voters of the Tennessee 7th Congressional District going to the polls, exercising their sacred right to vote, and choosing to send me to Congress to work for them,” Blackburn said in prepared remarks to media.

“During the next two years, I will lead the battle to preserve faith, family, freedom, hope and opportunity for all Americans. I look forward to continuing the fight.”

Blackburn’s challenger, Democrat Dan Cramer of Clarksville, polled 13,590 votes and said his campaign was important for a district that is known historically for voting Republican.

“Williamson County is changing rapidly,” he said. “People are moving from all over the country thinking, ‘These are not the politics I left.’

“We had a lot of great volunteers, and I’m thankful for all the hard work, but I don’t think we got the message out to enough people, and many of the best ideas never got discussed.”

Throughout the election cycle, Blackburn refused to directly engage Cramer in a debate.

“I hope the people of Tennessee realize how little gets done in Washington,” Cramer said. “This is the least- productive Congress in history, yet the incumbents always do well.”

State Sen. Jack Johnson (District 23) trumped his Green Party opponent, Amy Balderrama, easily with an 82.63 percent vote, or 45,610 votes. Balderrama mustered 9,337 ballots.

“I’m humbled and grateful at the tremendous show of support, and I’m looking forward to serving the people of this district for the next four years,” said Johnson, first elected in 2006.

Incumbent State House Reps. Glen Casada (District 63) and Charles Sargent (District 61) both reclaimed their seats without opposition this cycle.

Sargent could not be reached for comment, but Casada said Tuesday was a triumph for Tennessee Republicans.

“So now we can advocate the conservative agenda for two more years,” Casada said.

Republicans gained three state house seats Tuesday night and now holds 74 of 94 representative seats in the state.

Casada was also a major proponent of the wine in grocery stores referendum, and said it took six years of pushing the measure to finally see it pass.

“Many of us worked for years on this referendum, and the first four years it got nowhere. It’s good to see voters affirm they want wine in grocery stores.

“Any time you want to change legislation, it’s going to take time. This is a good example of that.”

The only contested State House race within Williamson County this year was District 65 – a race between incumbent Jeremy Durham (R-Franklin) and Democrat Bill Peach, a former member of both the Franklin Special School District and Williamson County School boards.

Durham, who has represented District 65 since its creation in 2012, took the vote by 73.24 percent, or 12,058 ballots.

“The voters of Williamson County like the way we do things,” Durham said as he reflected on the past year. “We balanced the budget without raising taxes, and we cut red tape on small businesses.”

Peach advocated for public education and “as a voice of reason” throughout his campaign and finished with 4,367 votes – a smaller percentage than he anticipated.

“I expected more; I thought I’d get a lot of crossover votes,” he said.

Williamson County is 68 percent Republican. Peach said he expected some of those Republican voters to favor him because of his advocacy for public education in view of a particularly tense and controversial school board election in August of this year.

“This county has moved further to the right than I thought,” Peach said. “I thought they’d put education above party label.”

Gov. Bill Haslam and U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander also were overwhelmingly favored by Williamson County voters, and by the state of Tennessee as a whole. Haslam was elected to his second term by the state, and won the county’s favor by a 79.4 percent vote – 45,198 ballots.

Alexander received 42,389, or 71.26 percent, of the vote in Williamson County, and the state elected him to his third term in the U.S. Senate.

Of Williamson County’s 139,001 registered voters, a total of 61,299 cast their ballots in this state/municipal general election.

Jessica Pace covers Nolensville, and Williamson County government and schools for Home Page Media Group. Contact her at jess@brentwoodhomepage.com. Jonathan Romeo covers Brentwood for Home Page Media Group. Contact him at jonathan@brentwoodhomepage.com.

About The Author

Kelly Gilfillan is the owner-publisher of Home Page Media Group which has been publishing hyperlocal news since 2009.

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