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Campaign signs are posted outside a polling location on the first day of early voting on July 15, 2022, in Nashville.Jonathan Mattise / AP

Midterm elections roundup: Running in Memphis

Thursday marks primary day in Tennessee

By and

Tuesday’s elections aren’t the only primaries this week. Voters are also heading to the polls today in Tennessee, where the main contest to watch is a crowded GOP primary for a newly drawn House seat. 

The GOP-controlled legislature divided up Nashville into three districts, prompting Democratic Rep. Jim Cooper to retire and opening up the 5th District, which now favors Republicans. The primary has seen some drama, including the state party removing Trump-backed Morgan Ortagus, a former State Department spokeswoman, and other candidates from the ballot. Ortagus went on to advise retired Brig. Gen Kurt Winstead in the primary. 

Winstead is the top fundraiser in the GOP primary, followed by former state House Speaker Beth Harwell, and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles. The race has seen some outside spending, with two groups, USA Freedom Fund and School Freedom Fund, which has ties to the Club for Growth, launching ads against Harwell. Another group, Conservative Americans PAC, has launched anti-Ogles ads.

State Sen. Heidi Campbell is the only Democratic running, but she faces an uphill climb in the new 5th District. The Cook Political Report rates the race Solid Republican

Three Democrats are also competing in Tuesday’s primary to take on GOP Gov. Bill Lee. But Lee is favored to win re-election in the GOP-leaning state. 

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Arizona Senate: Newly minted Republican Senate nominee Blake Masters is placing a new $650,000 ad buy over the next 11 days, per AdImpact. 

Pennsylvania Senate: The Philadelphia Inquirer digs into Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s finances, including how family money helped to support him during his career. 

Georgia Senate: Republican Herschel Walker agreed to participate in a Senate debate hosted by Nexstar Media Group, which is not one of the debates Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock had previously agreed to. 

Arizona Governor: Democratic gubernatorial nominee Katie Hobbs is up with a new ad promising accountability, to protect abortion access, “fix our schools and lower costs.” Meanwhile, the Republican Governors Association is running a spot criticizing Hobbs on border security, and another linking it to human trafficking

Florida Governor: Democratic Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried’s first ad hits her Democratic primary opponent, Rep. Charlie Crist, for appointing a state Supreme Court justice who sided with conservatives on key issues, per NBC News’ Marc Caputo

Wisconsin Governor: After hesitating about backing former President Trump in 2024, Trump-backed Tim Michels tweeted that he would “proudly endorse” Trump in 2024 if he runs

Arizona-01: NBC News’ Decision Desk projects that Republican Rep. Dave Schweikert has survived his contentious primary challenge. 

Arizona-02: The Decision Desk also projects that Eli Crane, the former Navy SEAL backed by Trump, won his primary and will take on Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran.