Farmer and businessman John Rose won the Republican primary in Tennessee’s 6th Congressional district.
Rose, of Cookeville, will attempt to replace fellow Republican Diane Black, who ran for Tennessee governor and lost in the primary. He will face Democrat Dawn Barlow on Nov. 6.
Retired judge Bob Corlew, of Mt. Juliet, and Rose had aggressively targeted each other in negative media advertisements. They each portrayed themselves as close allies of President Donald Trump.
Both had contributed large amounts of money to their own campaigns.
Rose grew up in Cookeville and runs his family’s farm in DeKalb County.
The district in northern Tennessee includes Wilson and 16 other counties and parts of two more.
Barlow was camped outside a polling station at Rutland Elementary School on Thursday with her husband, Chris Barlow, and their sons, William and Owen, where the first-time candidate talked about her inspiration to enter politics.
“This is my first time ever running for office. I’m a wife, mother, doctor – never put my name on a ballot before, but I’m proud to do it in this mid-term election. I wouldn’t sit this one out,” Barlow said.
“I looked at what they were trying to sell us on the other side of the ballot – this anti-immigrant rhetoric with no real plan to fix the major issues that we have in our district, no real plan to solve our health care crisis that we’re in where people don’t have access to basic care, where hospitals are closing, especially in rural Tennessee. Our public school infrastructure has critical needs, the safety in our school system. The needs for that are critical. The wealthiest 1 percent is doing pretty good, but the people who are making low wages haven’t seen their paycheck go up. We need to do a better job focusing on issues, and when I looked to see what they were selling on the other side, I was the first Democrat to jump into the race because nobody was talking about the issues that affect the people in our district.”
Another first-time candidate, Merrilee Wineinger, also campaigned outside the polling station at Rutland Elementary School, where she touted her experience with organizing and advocacy.
“I have been grassroots organizing and advocating for over the past 15 years to change unjust laws and policies, so my qualifications are that I have already been working across the aisle in our statehouses and also in Congress, so the first thing I’m going to do is build upon those relationships,” Wineinger said. “It’s my calling as a United Methodist minister to work in the field of compassion and justice, which is absolutely what I’m taking back to Congress.”
With 89 percent of the precincts reporting, Rose picked up 42 percent of the vote, followed by Corlew with 32 percent, Judd Matheny with 15 percent, Lavern Vivio with 9 percent and Christopher Monday with 3 percent.
On the Democrat side, Barlow won with 54 percent of the vote, followed by Wineinger with 22 percent, Christopher Finley with 15 percent and Peter Herrernan with 8 percent.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.