Nov. 25, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Senate Control Could Decide Opportunities in Tennessee

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo
If Corker were to leave Capitol Hill for Tennessee’s open gubernatorial election in 2018, a number of strong GOP candidates would surface for his Senate seat.

Republicans add that 8th District Rep. Stephen Fincher, a prolific fundraiser from the Memphis suburbs, is angling for a role as National Republican Congressional Committee chairman down the line. However, they say Fincher could also wage a gubernatorial bid if no other high-ranking Republicans enter the open-seat race in 2018.

On the Democratic side, opportunities are few and far between in this Republican-trending state. Democrats could not find a candidate to put up against Haslam this cycle, and Democratic operatives say finding other statewide candidates in the future could be tough.

One potential Senate candidate is Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. The next federal opportunities to arise for Democrats are in the state’s two safe Democratic seats of Reps. Jim Cooper and Steve Cohen.

Democratic operatives say many Democrats are waiting for the 12-term Cooper to hang it up, and say a number of Nashville-based elected officials will take a look his seat. They include:

Nashville City Councilwoman Megan Barry, currently running for mayor in 2015.

State Senate candidate Jeff Yarbro, who Democratic operatives say has a bright political future.

Attorney John Ray Clemmons, who Democratic operatives say is likely to wage a bid for the state House and could look toward a seat in Congress some day.

Cohen, whose outspoken personality earned him a barrage of press in 2013, has had primary opposition each cycle since he was first elected in 2006. In the Memphis-based, African-American-majority 9th District, the intraparty challenges are unlikely to halt.

Farm Team is a weekly, state-by-state look at the up-and-coming politicos who may eventually run for Congress.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly identified Mark Green's title when he retired from the military. He was a major.

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