Tennessee’s incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Bob Corker scorched the GOP primary field Thursday en route to what likely will be a return to Washington and a second 6-year term barring an unexpected upset by his Democratic opponent.
Corker easily outpaced his fellow Republicans Fred Anderson, Mark Twain Clemens, Brenda Lenard and Zack Poskevich.
With three of the state’s 95 counties not reporting, Corker had 287,047 votes to Poskevich’s 19,553 to finish in second place.
Corker will face Democrat Mark Clayton in the Nov. 6 general election.
Clayton bested Democratic candidates Park Overall, Larry Crim, Gary Gene Davis, Dave Hancock, T.K. Owens and Benjamin Roberts.
Clayton had 31,110 votes to Davis’ 17,570. Overall, a Greeneville activist/actress who has starred in such TV and movie roles as “Empty Nest,” finished third with 16,424 votes.
Before his election to the Senate in 2006, Corker served as mayor of Chattanooga from 2001 to 2005.
The moderate Republican sits on 15 committees and subcommittees and is the ranking member on the Senate Special Committee on Aging Committee and the Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs and International Environmental Protection.
Clayton works in insurance in Nashville and is writing a book intended to serve as a biblical study aid.
U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-1st, will run for his third term in the House after gliding to the role of party candidate with no Republican opposition in Thursday’s state primary.
Roe, Johnson City mayor from 2007-2009, defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. David Davis in the 2008 primary by 500 votes. He then went on to defeat Democrat Rob Russell in the general election with 72 percent of the vote.
He is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. He also serves on the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee and the Subcommittee on Health.
Republicans have held the 1st District seat continuously since 1881, and for all but four years since 1859.
Gray attorney Alan Woodruff, the lone Democrat on the state primary ballot, will face off against Roe in the November election.
Woodruff served successfully as co-counsel for the Constitution Party of Tennessee, which, together with the Green Party of Tennessee, filed a lawsuit challenging in federal court in which the judge ruled restrictions on minor parties to be unconstitutional.
He has said that the 1st District has become so dominated by ultra-conservatives that the average voter has no effective voice.
Roe and Woodruff will be joined on the November ballot by independents Michael Salyer and Karen Sherry Brackett.
Roe received 47,202 courtesy votes in the 1st District in Thursday’s vote, while Woodruff received 4,906 courtesy votes.