Democratic and Republican challengers target Tennessee GOP Rep. Andy Ogles.

Nashville— Rep. Andy Ogles will face Republican opposition in the August primary to maintain his Nashville-area congressional district. Candidates for state and federal offices filed last week, revealing their opponents to officeholders like Columbia's first-term congressman.

While Republicans debated legislation to bar Democratic state Rep. Gloria Johnson from competing for Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn's seat and reelection, the deadline passed. She is unopposed for state House and qualified for both.  

Ogles, a House Freedom Caucus member who received former President Donald Trump's reelection backing, will face Brentwood cybersecurity expert Tom Guarente and Nashville Metro Council member Courtney Johnston in the Republican primary. Maryam Abolfazli, who created Rise and Shine Tennessee, and Nashville native Arnie Malham are other Democrats who qualified for the seat.  

Last time, Ogles won a crowded primary by 13 percentage points in November 2022, flipping a Democratic seat. Republican gerrymandering divided left-leaning Nashville into three GOP-friendly districts. Republicans control eight Tennessee congressional seats. Democrat represents only one.  

Ogles was one of 11 Republican holdouts in Kevin McCarthy's lengthy speakership nomination in January 2023 before supporting him. Ogles voted against McCarthy's October removal. Ogles has been criticized outside the Capitol. After a local news station questioned his credentials, he admitted he was “mistaken” when he indicated he graduated with an international relations degree.  

Other GOP Reps. Diana Harshbarger, Tim Burchett, Chuck Fleischmann, and John Rose won't face primary opponents in Republican-leaning districts. Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais faces Morrison's Thomas Davis, Smyrna's Joe Doctora, and Murfreesboro's Joshua James in the primary. Rep. Mark Green, who retired but ran again, meets Pleasant View's Caleb Stack. Rep. David Kustoff faces Memphis' George Shea Flinn, Jr.  

Each of the eight Republican congressional incumbents faced a Democrat. Most notably, former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry will sidestep a Democratic primary to run for Green's seat, one of three in Nashville. Green beat a Democrat there by 22 points in 2022.  

Blackburn and Johnson face primary competition near the top of the ballot in the Senate contest. Since 1994, Republicans have held both Tennessee Senate seats. The GOP primary pits Blackburn against former legislative staffer Tres Wittum, who finished last out of nine GOP candidates in Ogles' congressional district in 2022.  

Johnson faces four Democrats. Marquita Bradshaw unexpectedly won the 2020 Democratic Senate race, but Republican Sen. Bill Hagerty won his first term by 27 points. The Tennessee Democratic Party said she was the first Black woman nominated for statewide office by either major party. Democrats Lola Denise Brown of Nashville, Kevin Lee McCants of Murfreesboro, and Civil Miller-Watkins of Rossville compete for Blackburn's seat.  

Many independents have filed for office, including Pamela Moses for Senate. Moses received a six-year, one-day term in 2021 for fraudulently registering to vote in Memphis in 2019. At the time, lawyers called her penalty disproportionate. She claims she was unaware of her voting ineligibility. After her new trial, prosecutors dropped charges.  

Democrats ran for 12 of 16 Senate seats and 75 of 99 House seats in the statehouse, where Republicans enjoy supermajorities. Democratic candidates fought for 10 Senate seats and 54 House seats in 2022.  

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