Memphis, TN – Strong support in west Tennessee wasn't enough to help challenger Tom Leatherwood take the 7th District seat from incumbent Marsha Blackburn in Thursday's Republican primary race.
Leatherwood was counting on Shelby County voters and rural counties in between the wealthy suburbs of Nashville and Memphis to help him win the primary. But rain, an August election, and voter fatigue may have cost him the race.
Shelby County Election Commissioner Myra Styles says it's hard to predict August elections, especially when the governor's seat isn't up for grabs. She says only about 10 percent of registered voters turned out.
By the end of the night, Leatherwood garnered support of 62 percent of Shelby County Republicans, which wasn't enough to carry the district. Shortly after 10 p.m., he conceded the race to incumbent Marsha Blackburn. She won 77 percent of the district, excluding Shelby County.
Blackburn supporters said they are pleased with her leadership in Washington.
Leatherwood says he was outspent.
Blackburn celebrated her victory in Brentwood and will face Randy Morris in November.