Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles won the Republican primary in Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District on Thursday, setting him up as the favorite to succeed U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Nashville) in Congress.
David Wasserman of Cook Political Report called the race for Ogles, and RedState reported that Harwell told supporters she could not make up the gap between the candidates.
Cooper decided to retire rather than seek reelection in the redrawn 5th District, which Tennessee Republicans reconfigured to favor Republicans after it had been held by Democrats for generations.
More than a dozen Republicans quickly rushed to enter the race, but it ultimately came down to Ogles, Harwell and retired National Guard Brigadier General Kurt Winstead.
Ogles, a former Tennessee leader of Americans for Prosperity, will face state Sen. Heidi Campbell (D-Nashville) in the November general election. She faced no competition in the Democratic primary Thursday.
Davidson County has historically been contained mostly within one congressional district, giving Democrats a safe seat in conservative Tennessee. Republicans in the state legislature split Davidson County into the 5th, 6th and 7th districts, creating a scenario in which Republicans are expected to win all three.
In the 7th District, which now includes parts of North Nashville and downtown, in addition to conservative counties to the west of Nashville, Nashville activist Odessa Kelly won the Democratic primary. She had originally been running against Cooper in the 5th District, but switched to the 7th District following redistricting. She will face incumbent Rep. Mark Green (R-Clarksville) in the general election, when Green is heavily favored to hold the seat.
The 6th District now includes East Nashville, in addition to counties to the northeast of Nashville. Incumbent GOP Rep. John Rose will face expected Democratic nominee Randal Cooper in November. Cooper was beating Clay Faircloth handily in the Democratic primary on Thursday.