Mostly status quo in Tennessee General Assembly

House Republicans lost seats in Knoxville and Nashville, but picked up a rural West Tennessee seat formerly held by a Democrat to leave them with a 73-26 advantage in the chamber. No seat changed hands in the Senate, where the GOP holds 28 of 33 seats. So it will be mostly be status quo ante when the General Assembly comes into session in January, other than a slew of new faces replacing retiring lawmakers.

(Note: this post updates the percentages of various races that didn’t have all precincts reporting late Tuesday night. None of the outcomes changed.)

Rep. Eddie Smith (R-Knoxville) lost 55%-43% to Democrat Gloria Johnson, whom he defeated by about 300 votes two years ago in House District 13.

In the race to succeed House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) in House District 56, Democrat Bob Freeman beat Republican Brent Moody by 2 percentage points.

In the race to succeed House Minority Leader Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) in House District 82, Republican Chris Hurt beat Democrat Andrea Bond-Johnson 57%-44%.

Rep. Martin Daniel (R-Knoxville) held on in a tough race with Democrat Greg Mackay in House District 18, 51%-49%.

Sen. Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) beat Democrat Gabby Salinas by just 2 percentage points in Senate District 31, 51%-49%. He had the help of more than $300,000 in adverting from his Senate GOP colleagues.

Rep. John Mark Windle (D-Livingston) after edging out a narrow lead in earlier returns cruised to a 55%-45% win over Republican challenger Ed Butler in House District 41.

Despite some last minute jitters, there was little surprise in House District 33, where incumbent Rep. John Ragan (R-Oak Ridge) defeated Democrat Richard Dawson 61%-39%.

In the open House District 67 race to succeed Rep. Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville),  Democrat Jason Hodges defeated Republican Tommy Vallejos, 53%-45%. (Pitts appeared to defeat Kim McMillan, the former state House majority leader, for Clarksville mayor, 33.85% to 33.22%.)

Incumbent Rep. Dwayne Thompson (D-Cordova) won House District 96 challenger Scott McCormick 57% to 43%.

Rep. Jim Coley (R-Bartlett) in neighboring House District 97 won 55% over Democrat Allan Creasy’s 45%.

In heavily Republican House District 71, Rep. David Byrd (R-Waynesboro) won 78% of the vote over Democrat Frankie Floied of Hohenwald. Byrd rejected calls  to resign after sexual misconduct allegations were made against him when he was their 28-year-old high school basketball coach.

In Senate District 7, Sen. Richard Briggs (R-Knoxville) defeated  Democrat Jamie Ballinger 56%-44%, while Sen. Mark Pody (R-Lebanon) avoid a repeat of the razor-thin Senate District 17 special election and defeated Democrat Mary Alice Carfi 70%-30%.

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