The Jackson Sun asked a few people for some details about the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s choice to target Tennessee’s 8th District as a possible pick-up (or take-back, given that they only last year lost the seat).
Sen. Roy Herron (D-Dresden), who dropped out of the 2010 gubernatorial race upon former U.S. Rep. John Tanner’s retirement, won the congressional primary, but lost to U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher in the general election, confirmed verbally that he “plans to run” again in 2012, according to the report.
Another name that has been listed as a possibility is Sen. Lowe Finney (D-Jackson), who chairs his party’s Senate caucus. As Dan Turnbow indicated on Twitter, the 27th District will likely look more favorable to Republicans after redistricting.
Independent candidate James Hart is so far the only challenger to formally declare against Fincher.
Out in the West Tennessee wilds, two challengers are tackling the long-odds task of unseating two different incumbent congressmen, and these challengers share a last name—though likely not a whole lot else.
James L. Hart: well, certainly you remember him. Back when the Eighth District was represented by a Democrat (John Tanner), Hart would try to run as a Republican every cycle. In 2004, he successfully captured the nomination. He has been barred by the Tennessee Republican Party from running on the GOP ticket ever since; and this time, he is running as an independent candidate. Hart holds views on race that are quite controversial, to say the least. He is running against U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher.
Tomeka Hart: Ms. Hart is a Memphis City School Board member and president of the Memphis Urban League. The city school system is in a state of transition towards merging with the county system, following a charter surrender drive that Ms. Hart supported. She is running against U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen in the Ninth District Democratic primary. In each election cycle since Cohen took office, he has had primary opposition from at least one African-American candidate: Nikki Tinker in 2008, former Memphis mayor Willie Herenton in 2010, and now Tomeka Hart. The latter so far hasn’t made overt references to Cohen’s race or religion, both of which have been brought up in past elections.
The voter guide has been updated to include these candidates.
A Gannett report last week identified U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher as the top recipient of campaign funds among Tennessee’s U.S. House delegation in the most recent reporting period (July – September 2011).
A quick glance at OpenSecrets.org shows that U.S. Rep. John J. “Jimmy” Duncan is the House member with the most cash on-hand, with $1,534,506. U.S. Sen. Bob Corker is sitting on more than $6.5 million.
In the Third District, U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann shows a total of $410,439 raised so far in the 2012 election cycle. Fleischmann hosts U.S. House Speaker John Boehner at a fundraiser later this week. A donation of $1,000 will get one into the general reception; a $2,500 check means a photo opportunity with the Speaker.
No numbers are yet available for Fleischmann’s GOP primary rivals, Jean Howard-Hill and Weston Wamp.
In the Eighth District, independent candidate James Hart has raised $502 compared to Fincher’s $943,564.
In the Ninth District, Tomeka Hart, a Democratic Party primary challenger to incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, has reported zero dollars raised. Cohen has raised close to a quarter million dollars.