No fewer than 19 people -- seven Republicans, seven Democrats and five independents -- have filed to succeed U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon in the Sixth District House seat. Gordon, a Democrat from Murfreesboro, is not seeking re-election. He is the longest-serving member of Tennessee's Congressional delegation.
In the only other legislative race affecting Bedford County, three people have filed to challenge State Rep. Pat Marsh for the 62nd District House seat which Marsh won in a special election last year.
April 1 was the deadline to file qualifying petitions, and Thursday was the deadline for those who had filed petitions to withdraw them. So the names finalized yesterday will appear on their respective ballots, even if they stop actively campaigning.
In the 62nd District, Joseph C. Byrd of Unionville -- who sought the 62nd District seat last year -- will challenge Marsh in the Aug. 5 Republican primary. In the Democratic primary. Jenny Hunt of Bell Buckle will face Mike Winton of Shelbyville. The primary winners will face each other in the Nov. 2 general election.
Marsh was elected to the seat last October in a special election after incumbent Curt Cobb resigned in mid-term. Marsh defeated Cobb's brother Ty Cobb, the Democratic nominee, and Constitution Party candidate Chris Brown.
In the Sixth District U.S. House race, the seven Republican candidates are Dave Evans of Wartrace; State Sen. Jim Tracy of Shelbyville; Bruce McLellan of Overton County; Gary Dewitt Mann of Williamson County; State Sen. Diane Black of Sumner County; Lou Ann Zelenik of Rutherford County; and Kerry Roberts of Robertson County.
In the Democratic primary, the candidates are Devora E. Butler, George T. Erdel and Ben Leming, all of Rutherford County; Floyd R. Conover and Martin L.C. Kelly Jr., both of Sumner County; Brett Carter of Davidson County; and Henry Clay Barry of Wilson County.
The winners of the August primaries will join five independents on the November general election ballot. The independents are Jim Boyd of Sumner County; former Bedford County resident Tommy N. Hay, now of DeKalb County; Brandon E. Gore of Rutherford County; Stephen R. Sprague of Jackson County; and David Purcell of Robertson County.