(T-G Photo by Kent Flanagan) [Order this photo]
State Rep. Pat Marsh, Shelbyville Mayor Wallace Cartwright and Normandy Mayor Larry Nee were handily re-elected Tuesday, but Wartrace Mayor Don Gallagher lost to challenger Ron Stacy, and Shelbyville city council members Al Stephenson and Lee Roy Cunningham lost to challengers as well.
Marsh, a Republican who was elected to the 62nd District House seat in an October 2009 special election, won his first full term by defeating Democratic challenger Jenny Hunt. In Bedford County, Marsh won by a margin of 6,992 to 2,622. District-wide, the margin was 11,326 to 3,814. The district includes all of Bedford County, a large portion of Lincoln County and a small portion of Rutherford County.
All vote totals are unofficial until certified by local election commissions and the state.
Marsh, at an election-night party at 50s & Fiddles on Depot Street, expressed his gratitude to Hunt for running a clean race.
"I really appreciated the way she ran her campaign," said Marsh, who added that he dislikes negative campaigning. He said he and Hunt had spoken soon after Hunt announced her candidacy.
Hunt conceded the race early after seeing early results which she called "insurmountable."
(T-G Photo by Kent Flanagan)
Marsh said he would go right back to work with fellow conservative legislators to discuss possible leaders for the state House. Kent Williams of Carter County, who has served as state House speaker for the past two years, ran afoul of his fellow Republicans in 2009 by cooperating with the Democratic minority to be elected to the speaker post over the Republican caucus' chosen candidate. He was disowned by the GOP leadership but continues to refer to himself as a Republican.
A new legislative session will begin with a new election for speaker. The GOP, which had only a razor-thin majority two years ago, picked up 14 seats in the House on Tuesday and is now in clear control of both chambers and the governor's mansion.
Cartwright, seeking a second term as mayor, easily defeated write-in candidate Alton Davis by a margin of 2,239 to 224.
In the Ward 2 city council race, Sam Meek defeated Stephenson, a former mayor of Shelbyville, by a margin of 144 to 137.
James "Jamie" Williams won Cunningham's Ward 4 seat, defeating Cunningham and June Taylor. Williams had 246 votes to Cunningham's 191 and Taylor's 186.
The third city council seat, in Ward 6, was held by incumbent Thomas Landers, who defeated challenger Rex Northcutt 401 to 277.
In Wartrace, incumbent mayor Gallagher lost to Stacy by a margin of 156 to 133.
Stacy is the co-owner, with his twin brother Don, of 50s & Fiddles.
Gallagher had served as Wartrace mayor since 1998 and had also served two years as mayor in the 1980s.
Incumbent Wartrace aldermen Patsy Gregory and Ed Simpson held on to their seats, defeating challengers Paul Cagle, Roston Floyd and write-in Carolyn Phillips.
In Normandy, Nee was unopposed and received 26 complimentary votes. Incumbent alderman Evelyn Hittson, also unopposed, received 30 complimentary votes.
Bedford County joined statewide voters in supporting Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam for governor.
Haslam, who is also a co-founder of the Pilot truck stop chain, had 1,041,576 votes to Democrat Mike McWherter's 529,983 in the contest to succeed Gov. Phil Bredesen, a term-limited Democrat. McWherter, a businessman from Jackson, is the son of popular former governor and state house speaker Ned McWherter.
In Bedford County, Haslam drew 6,807 votes, or 69 percent, to McWherter's 2,773 votes, or 28 percent.
Bedford County also overwhelmingly supported a state constitutional amendment to preserve the right to hunt and fish. The local vote was 7,507 in favor to just 560 opposed. Statewide, the amendment passed by a margin of 1,255,840 to 181,465.
The county joined other district voters in electing Republican State Sen. Diane Black for the 6th District U.S. House seat.
District-wide, Black had 128,168 votes, or 67 percent, to Democrat Brett Carter's 55,946, or 29 percent.
Locally, voters gave Black 6,537 votes, or 70 percent, to Carter's 2,351 votes, or 25 percent.
The seat was open due to Rep. Bart Gordon's decision not to seek re-election. Gordon, a Democrat, is the longest-serving member of Tennessee's congressional delegation.
"I feel like we're the (Tennessee) Titans that won the first game of the season," Black said. "But we've got a long way to go."
Among the five independent candidates seeking the seat was former Bedford County resident Tommy Hay, who received 158 votes locally and 1,269 district-wide.
A total of 9,896 votes were cast in Bedford County. That's down from the 10,990 who voted in the midterm election four years ago -- and that election featured heavily-favored incumbents in the governor's and congressional races, and did not include city elections.
Editor Kent Flanagan and Associated Press reports contributed to this story.