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Candidates square off in primary for 1st District seat in Tennessee

Candidates square off in primary for 1st District seat in Tennessee


With most counties reporting complete election results late Thursday, Diana Harshbarger appeared to be leading the Republican primary for Tennessee’s 1st Congressional District seat, unofficial election results showed Thursday night.

Harshbarger Diana

Diana Harshbarger

As of 10:30 p.m., Harshbarger led the field of 16 candidates, with about 20% of the vote. Harshbarger received a total of 17,773 votes across the district, according to unofficial totals.

Harshbarger’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the unofficial numbers, candidates Rusty Crowe and Timothy Hill followed with about 16% of the vote each.

The winner of the seat will be the GOP nominee who will run for the seat held by retiring U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Johnson City, in the Nov. 3 general election.

Harshbarger, of Kingsport, is a pharmacist who owns Premier Pharmacy in Kingsport.

Her campaign was the only one in the Republican primary that declined to be interviewed by the Bristol Herald Courier prior to the primary. Her website states that she backs President Donald Trump on most issues, including his “America First” agenda. It also states she is anti-abortion and opposes gun control among other things.

Walsingham Blair

Blair Walsingham

In the Democratic primary Blair Walsingham, 32, came out on top. Waslingham, a resident of Eidson, was already the presumptive Democratic nominee because the other two candidates, Chris Rowe and Larry Smith suspended their campaigns. Rowe had also endorsed Walsingham.

Despite this, Walsingham only got 52% of the vote, 5,745 votes total, with about 34% of votes cast for Rowe and about 14% cast for Smith, according to unofficial totals.

Regardless Walsingham said she is hopeful for the general election.

“It’s really exciting, I’m definitely hopeful,” Walsingham said. “I want to show we can run a different kind of campaign that isn’t a culture war.”

Walsingham is a U.S. Air Force veteran and owns the Soggy Dog Pet Spa. She previously told the Bristol Herald Courier if elected, she would work to be nonpartisan and solve problems.

276-645-2512 | | Twitter: @Leif_Greiss | 276-645-2412 | Twitter: @Leif_Greiss

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