(T-G Photo by David Melson)
State Sen. Jim Tracy, a Republican from Shelbyville, defeated Democratic challenger Jean Anne Rogers of Murfreesboro by a margin of 48,064 to 31,727 to retain his 16th district seat representing Bedford and Moore counties and part of Rutherford County. Tracy carried all three of the counties.
All vote totals are unofficial until certified.
In Bedford County, Tracy drew 10,207 votes to Rogers' 3,549.
"I'm very pleased and humbled," said Tracy this morning.
State Rep. Curt Cobb, a Democrat from Shelbyville, defeated Republican challenger Barbara Blanton of Shelbyville, a former Mississippi state senator, by 12,845 to 10,487 in the 62nd district race to represent all of Bedford and portions of Lincoln and Rutherford counties. Cobb carried Bedford and Lincoln counties while Blanton carried the small portion of Rutherford County which falls within the district.
In Bedford County, Cobb drew 8,368 votes to Blanton's 6,520.
"I'm very pleased with the outcome," said Cobb this morning.
(T-G Photo by John Philleo)
Cobb likened his victory to "swimming upstream."
"It was a Republican tide this time," he said, at least at the state level.
Cobb said there will be changes but he will continue to do his best to serve the district.
"I've always worked well with both sides of the aisle," said Cobb.
Tracy said that the electorate sought change -- nationally, that meant a shift towards the Democrats, while in Tennessee it meant a shift towards Republicans.
"It will shake up a lot of folks in Nashville," said Tracy.
It will have some immediate effects. The Republicans will now get to elect various constitutional officers in the state, and will even shift the balance of power in local county election commissions. Right now, those election commissions are composed of three Democrats and two Republicans, said Tracy, but that will be reversed. Republican candidates will also be listed first on the ballot, he said.
"The election of a Republican majority in the General Assembly is historic in its own right, and even more so given the strong Democratic tide across much of the country," said Robin Smith, chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, in a news release. "Our victories send a national message that Republican values still resonate with mainstream America. The power of a consistent conservative Republican message - low taxes, small government and respect for life -- once again demonstrated its power to attract a majority."
In the State Senate, Tracy is the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and serves on other committees, including the Education Committee, the State and Local Government Committee, the Commission on Aging and Disability, and the Long Term Care Advisory Council.
Tracy and his wife, Trena, have lived in Shelbyville for 19 years and have been married for 32 years. They have three sons, Chad, Craig and Connor. He is the owner of a Nationwide Insurance agency in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro.
Cobb, a real estate broker and auctioneer, serves as secretary of the House Commerce Committee and chairs the subcommittee on Banking and Small Business. He is also a member of the Transportation Committee, the Public Transportation and Highways Subcommittee, the Utilities and Banking Subcommittee, the Public Safety and Rural Roads Subcommittee, the Joint Fiscal Review Committee and the Business Tax Committee.
Cobb and his wife, Margaret Anne, live in Shelbyville with their three children.