Lee wins big and Tennessee Republicans make gain in 2022 midterms


Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee addresses a crowd of media and guests in Franklin at his 2022 election event. (Photo by Matthew Giffin)

Story by Matthew Giffin | News Editor

Incumbent Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee celebrated a landslide re-election over Democratic opponent Dr. Jason Martin on Nov. 8. Republicans across the state also made gains in the U.S. House.

The Associated Press called the race in Lee’s favor shortly after polls closed last night. Lee has captured 65.3% of the vote while Martin only has 32.6%, according to unofficial results.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee embraces his wife Maria Lee on stage after her absence from his campaign due to a cancer diagnosis. (Photo by Matthew Giffin)

“Being the governor of this state has been the honor of my life,” Lee said at his election event after the race was called. “And I want to thank you and the people of this state who have given me and Maria the opportunity to serve again.”

Voters also flipped District 5 red by electing Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles to the open seat for the U.S. House. Nashville voters are now represented entirely by Republicans in Washington.

The only Democratic win in Tennessee was Rep. Steve Cohen’s re-election in District 9, which includes Memphis.

Tennessee voters passed all four constitutional amendments on the ballot, according to unofficial results. Amendment 1, which enshrines Tennessee’s status as a right-to-work state in the state constitution, passed by nearly 70% of the vote. Amendment 3, which strikes a legal exception for slavery from the state constitution, passed by nearly 80% of the vote.

To contact News Editor Matthew Giffin and Assistant News Editor Kailee Shores, email newseditor@mtsusidelines.com.

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