|Republicans swept into the state house in Tuesday’s election picking up at least a dozen seats, putting them solidly in control of both houses of Tennessee’s General Assembly.
Two of those new seats came from Rutherford County, where the GOP picked up an open seat vacated by Donna Rowland in the 34th District and a win in the 49th District.
In the 34th District, Rick Womick beat his Democratic challenger Bill Shacklett with 16,389 votes to Shacklett’s 7,734.
State Representative-elect Mike Sparks didn’t win by such a wide margin, but still pulled in 58 percent of the vote to incumbent Democrat Kent Coleman’s 42 percent.
The remaining Rutherford County Republican incumbents – State Sen. Bill Ketron, State Reps. Joe Carr and Pat Marsh – all retained their seats easily.
With these wins, and others across the state, the GOP now controls both legislative chambers, along with the governor’s office, for the first time since the civil war.
U.S. House of Representatives 6th District
The GOP landslide continued onto the national scene.
Diane Black was overwhelmingly elected to represent Tennessee’s 6th District in U.S. House of Representatives. Black is the first Republican elected to represent this district in more than a quarter of a century.
“I am honored to stand before you tonight as your next congressman,” Black said in her Tuesday night acceptance speech. “I am so grateful for your support and for the support of so many people across the 6th district, and I am very thankful for all of the energy that you brought to this campaign.”
Black beat her Democratic challenger Brett Carter with 128,340 to his 56,057 district wide.
In Rutherford County Black took home 66 percent of the vote.
Black is a small business owner, a nurse for more than 40 years, and a former state senator in the Tennessee General Assembly.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike McWherter conceeded the race to his Republican challenger Bill Haslam shortly after 8 p.m.
Only one hour after polls closed and 19 percent of precincts reporting, Haslam had received 429,924 to McWherer's 171,058 votes at 8 p.m.
When the night ended and all the votes were counted Haslam had 1,041,576 votes to McWherter’s 529,983.
Eagleville Mayor Sam Tune ran unopposed and received 92 percent of the vote.
The Eagleville City Council will now be David W. Rigsby, Eric Marlin, Chris Hendrix, Andy Soapes and David B. Turner.
Senna Mosley, Sherry Green and Chris Farmer have been elected as mayor and alderman in the City of La Vergne.
All 48 precincts in the county had been reported by 10:04 p.m., according to the Rutherford County Election Commission.
With 41 percent of the total, Mosley garnered 2,364 votes for the mayoral spot, beating incumbent Ronnie Erwin (1,777) and Mike Slinker (1,606). There were 22 write-in votes.
Current Alderman Sherry Green captured 26 percent of the total for the alderman race, with 2,517 votes. Chris Farmer was second with 1,915 votes.
Others running were:
Tom Broeker (1,642), David Gammon (1,555), Katherine (Kandy) Pierce (1,131), Teresa Bess Smith (422) and Earl Wilson (377). There were 36 write-in votes.
Alderman Dennis Waldron was not up for election. The election leaves one open seat in the city’s Board of Mayor and Alderman. That seat was Mosley’s. It is unclear at press time how that seat will be filled.
Tony Dover retains his seat in the Smyrna mayor’s office.
Dover beat out Ben Johnson (2,495) and Steve Townley (1,100) with 4,528 votes.
The top three vote-getter in the town council race were incumbents Marc Adkins, H. G. Cole Jr. and Lance Lee.
In an unrelated matter, voters in Cannon County approved the state's first distillery referendum.